Glenfiddich Artists in Residence programme picks India's installation artist Sitaram Swain

Every year since 2002, some of the world’s most creative minds from around the world have been invited to live and work for a period of three months on site at the Glenfiddich Distillery. The artists have complete freedom to develop projects that are inspired by their surroundings and whisky making crafts. From among 810 participants from across India, Sitaram Swain was awarded the sixth recipient of Glenfiddich’s Emerging Artist of the Year 2017. The announcement was made on March 25th at the Gallery in Lado Sarai over a showcase of the top five finalists works.


Odisha based Sitaram Swain works as an installation artist and his out of the box concepts are what make him stand out. Sitaram works with domestic objects like clay pots for he believes that there is a sublime quality of social relevance in day to day objects. His works are an attempt at exemplifying social issues through art.

The Emerging Artist of the Year Award is a part of Glenfiddich’s 16-year-old Artists in Residence (AiR) programme, where winners from different countries get to spend three months at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland. In addition to this, Sitaram Swain will be awarded INR 10 lakh, which includes an international allowance of INR 120,000 per month and a work allowance of INR 500,000. will also be awarded a solo show at Gallery in New Delhi. The other artists that made it to the top contenders list included, Vandana Kothari, Mangesh Rajguru, Subhendu Mishra and Akhil Mohan.

Glenfiddich also set up a virtual reality experience for the guests at the event to sculpt, model, paint, and create tangible objects in a VR environment. Further pioneering integration of technology to make the experience of Glenfiddich even more memorable for its consumers.

On the occasion, the winner Sitaram Swain said, “I am very excited to be selected as the India winner for Glenfiddich’s Artists in Residence (AiR) programme. This will be an opportunity for me to widen and explore my creative boundaries outside of my traditional work space. A once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with some great artists from around the world in the heart of the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland”.

The global coordinator and organizer of Glenfiddich’s AiR programme, Andy Fairgrieve, is in India to personally hand over the award to India’s emerging artist. Commenting on the programme, he said, “Our globally recognized forum Artists in Residence (AiR), launched in 2002, provides a unique and inspired platform for artists from around the world to showcase their talent and to gain international recognition. India has become a world-class centre of excellence for creativity, given the diversity and talent it houses. Through this programme, we are trying to recognize and encourage the emerging talent of India”

James Pennefather, Managing Director, William Grant & Sons India said, "Keeping with the spirit of our founders, Glenfiddich has been a patron and supporter of art programs across the world. Our globally recognized forum Artists in Residence (AiR), launched in 2002, provides a unique and inspired platform for artists from around the world to showcase their talent and to gain international recognition. In India, we have opened doors for a credible outlet for the emerging talent this country has to showcase. We are proud to provide our artists the global exposure they deserve.”

Mr. Kapil Chopra, President, The Oberoi Group & Mentor,, said, “We are delighted to host the sixth edition of the Emerging Artist of the Year award. This is India’s most consistent art award and the most important initiative for the growth of Indian contemporary art for the last six years. An emerging artist has won a prize money of Rs. 10 lakhs, a 3 months Residency in Scotland at the Glenfiddich distillery, along with a solo show at Art District XIII. The award not only seeks out the next generation of artists but also nurtures and supports emerging talent. At the gallery we believe in showcasing the best of Indian art, culture, design to the world and this initiative reiterates our commitments towards the goal.”

Glenfiddich Artists in Residence doesn’t set any parameters on what our artists can produce. Each year, a number of artists from around the world are selected to take up a residency at the distillery and invited to take inspiration from their surroundings to produce new work. It has become widely acclaimed in the art world for providing artists with an original setting, space and community in which to work.

The thirteen-member jury for the Emerging Artist of the Year Award 2017, includes leading artists, gallery owners, art critics and art collectors. The jury members have gone through over 2500 works by 810 artists before finalizing the 5 finalists and the India winner.

The artist was judged by a jury comprising:
1. Andy Fairgrieve, global curator and organizer, Glenfiddich Artists in Residence programme
2. Swapan Seth, art collector
3. Nitin Bhayana, art collector
4. Sunil V., trustee, Kochi Binnale
5. Sunil Sethi, chairman, NIFT
6. Peter Nagy, director, Nature Morte
7. Jagannath Panda, artist
8. Veer Munshi, artist
9. Feroz Gujral, director, Outset India
10. Thukral & Tagra, artist
11. James Pennefather, managing director, William Grant & Sons, India
12. Rajiv Bhatia, director – Middle East, Gulf and Indian subcontinent, William Grant & Sons, India
13. Kapil Chopra, mentor,

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