Space118 Fine Arts Grant: 2022-23

Space118 Fine Arts Grant: 2022-23

Space118 invited applications from artists all across India for a production grant towards the realisation of an ongoing or a newly conceived project. The grant also entailed two online Mentorship Sessions (plus a review session) with a senior or mid-career artist who the Jury deems suitable for them. Apart from the grant bursary and the mentorship sessions, the recipients will also be getting a chance to exhibit their work through a ‘Virtual Open Studio day’ that will be available to access on Space118`s social media handles- Instagram and Facebook.

Grant amounts awarded were between INR 15,000/- to Rs. 1,00,000/-. The proposed budget was vetted by the Jury consisting Lekha Poddar- Collector, Dr Arshiya Lokhandwala- Art Historian and Curator,  Neha Choksi- Artist and Space118 in consultation with the selected grantee before the commencement of the grant.

The following are the Space118 Fine Arts Grant Winners: 2022-23


Taniya Sarkar is a photographer based in Kolkata. Her ongoing project Nothing Left to Call Home documents communal violence against women in Bengal since Partition. She is a 2021 recipient of the Generator Grant from Experimenter Gallery, the Social Documentary Photography Grant from the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, and was a finalist for the Inge Morath Award by the Magnum Foundation. Taniya was awarded the prestigious Mary Ellen Mark Scholarship to attend the International Center of Photography’s programme in Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism (2021-2022), where she began working on Broken Hallelujah, a photography project that ponders life in a post-COVID world through the eyes of a musician grappling with mental health.


Mahesh Vishwakarma, based in Kolkata, completed his BFA (2020) and MFA (2022) in sculpture from Rabindra Bharati University. Hailing from Dhanbad, the coal capital of India, Mahesh’s work draws from and responds to his hometown both in terms of form and material. His works relate the struggle of labourers working in the coal mines as a class and community, pointing to their psychological and material aspirations. He uses coal as a metaphor that evolves beyond its material value, as a framing reference for the history of this struggle – a process that places the material in contrast with the hierarchic and feudal sense of the non-perishable.


Swathi Bheemani is pursuing an MFA in painting at JNAFAU Hyderabad. She has participated in the Students’ Biennale, Kochi (2021), exhibited at a workshop on New Media Art by Suresh B. at Nehru Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2022), and been a part of two group shows of Cheriyal art at Nehru Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2017). Swathi has participated in a number of camps and workshops including a National Art Camp held at Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru; a Cheriyal mask workshop and a crack technique workshop at Nehru Art Gallery, Hyderabad. While her work explores a variety of mediums, she primarily uses charcoal, finding it to be a unique medium to express her concepts visually.


Ashwam Shrikant Salokhe, who is based in Kolhapur, studied sculpture and modelling at Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. Through his work he experiments with ‘spaces’, communicating with people to paint on their walls, creating sculptures with found objects, and seeking community involvement to develop his practice. In the past three years, Ashwam has travelled between Mumbai and West Bengal, creating art (that often takes a toylike form) in offbeat spaces like furniture factories with objects he finds around him. He has exhibited in group shows at Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai; Students’ Biennale, Kochi; and Turf Water, ARTBAT FEST, Almaty.


Sandeep TK works with the idea of relationships, desire, oral histories, and fictional narratives in the context of spaces that he has inhabited or experienced by exploring the role of his queer, caste, and colour identity, and his experience in everyday life. His practice involves photographs, videos, and text. Sandeep’s work has been exhibited in FIF – Belo Horizonte’s International Festival of Photography, KG+ Kyotography, Japan; and Vantage Point, Sharjah. His short videos have been showcased at The Palace International Film Festival, Bristol; Bangalore Queer Film Festival; and Festival of Video Art by Indian Contemporary Artists.


Ashok Vish studied BA Economics at University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, and pursued a certificate degree in Filmmaking at New York University. His work has been screened and exhibited at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival; Sharjah Film Platform through Sharjah Art Foundation; WNDX Festival of Moving Image, Canada; Migros Museum, Zurich; Nottingham Arts Mela, UK; Bangalore International Centre, Bangalore among other group exhibitions nationally. Ashok’s practice draws from his training in filmmaking and interests in other aspects of image-making such as video and photography. Following a research-based practice, he is interested in queer narratives from South Asia enmeshed in diasporic boundary-crossing identifications, and examining Western bias in queer paradigms and Western models of global queerness.


Shiv Shankar completed his BVA (Painting with minor in Graphics) from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU, Vadodara (2022). His work is about reaffirming his social identity in his locale with regards to social imposition, dominance, defamation, and the dream of an egalitarian society. The concepts of ‘nostalgia’ and ‘caste’ play a significant role in his practice, which explores his own community’s history of being vocal about issues in the hierarchical caste system. Shiv has exhibited in a number of group shows including Pristine, Priyasri Art Gallery at the Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery, Mumbai (2022); Degree Show at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU, Vadodara (2022); and Another Brick In The Wall – Preview Group Show, Fine Arts Gallery, Vadodara (2022).


With a Masters degree in Fine Art (Painting) from College of Art, Delhi, Pallavi Singh’s work focuses on social constructs and challenges to gender stereotypes, and explores sexuality, personal care and grooming behaviours, and corporate spectacles. She is the recipient of several awards including the Vermont Studio Center Artist Opportunity Fellowship (2019), the InLaks Scholarship at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2015), the 10th Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong (2013-14), and most recently, she was shortlisted for the TAF Emerging Artist Award South Asia, London (2021). Pallavi is based in New Delhi and represented by Art Heritage.


Based in Vadodara, Payal Rajput completed her BVA in Painting (2018) and MVA in Mural (2021) from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU, Vadodara. Her work explores the ideas of ​​’home’ and ‘memory’ with an aim to understand how architecture brings embedded memories to the surface. Through the mediums of pottery, ceramics, and painting, Payal creates sculptures and emotional structures that take reference from her ancestral home, recording its state and transformation due to age and wear and tear. Her practice is invested in exploring the ways in which ceramics (often seen as a solitary medium) can exist in conversation with painting, drawing, or photography.

Jury Members for Space118 Fine Arts Grant: 2022-23

Lekha Poddar

Born in 1950 in Calcutta, Lekha Poddar is a philanthropist, business woman, and an art collector.

Lekha harnessed her passion for Contemporary Art, together with her son Anupam.  They established Devi Art Foundation, in 2005. Their collection of Contemporary Art ranges from India, South Asia, Central Asia and Iran. There is also a substantial collection of Verancular Art. From 2008 untill 2020 the Foundation, has held at least 18 major exhibitions, most of them from their collection.

Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala

Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala is an art historian and curator and [Ph. D. Cornell University] Master’s of Arts in Curating, Goldsmith College, London], and the founding director/curator of Lakeeren Gallery, Mumbai, India. Her recent museum curatorial projects include The Future is Here: Art and Technology in Millennial Age [2019], Beyond Transnationalism: The Legacy of Post –Independent from India at Dr. BhauDaji Lad Museum, Mumbai [April 2017] and Raza Foundation, Delhi [January 2017], India Re- Worlded: Seventy Years of Investigating a Nation [2017] for which she was awarded the curator of the year award by India Today, Given Time: The Gift and Its Offerings [2016] both at Gallery Odyssey, Mumbai. After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997 [2015] at the Queens Museum, and Of Gods and Goddesses, Cinema Cricket: The New Cultural Icons of India for the RPG Foundation in Mumbai, and Against All Odds: A Contemporary Response to the Historiography of Archiving Collecting and Museums in India at the Lalit Kala Academy, Delhi [2011].

She was been teaching South Asian Feminism in the Art Institute of Chicago, USA in the Art History department since 2019. She has curated over 200 shows at Lakeeren Gallery, which included an international program of artists from India, Pakistan, Iran, and Germany & Mexico City. Dr. Lokhandwala writes on globalization, feminism, performance and new media with a specialization in biennale and large-scale exhibitions.

Neha Choksi

Neha Choksi lives and works in Los Angeles and Bombay. Her work has been widely exhibited, screened or performed in the United States, Asia, Australia, UK, and Europe. Exhibition venues include the New Viewings online platform of Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (solo, 2021); Kleefeld Contemporary Museum, Long Beach, CA (solo, 2021); Various Small Fires, Los Angeles (solo, 2021); 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA (solo, 2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (biennial, 2018); Dhaka Art Summit (2020, 2018, 2016); Manchester Art Gallery (solo, 2017); LAMOA at Occidental College, Los Angeles (solo, 2017); 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016); Hayward Gallery Project Space, London (solo, 2015); Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013); John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK (3-person, 2012); Asia Pacific Triennial, QAGOMA, Brisbane (2012); Shanghai Biennale (2012); Wanås Foundation and Kristianstads Konsthall, Sweden (2012); the Venice Architecture Biennale (2006); among others. Her work is in notable collections including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, USA; Deutsche Bank Collection, Germany; Queensland Gallery of Art / Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane; John Hansard Gallery at the University of Southampton, UK; Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai; Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi; Devi Art Foundation, India.