Curation Is About Exploring, Searching Unique Ways To Communicate With Audience: Sanjana Shah
Sanjana Shah, Independent Curator, and Creative Director, Tao Art Gallery in a conversation with BW Applause and Everything Experiential talked about collaboration with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPIA) and more.
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In the present world, creative directors are coming up with extremely engaging and unique concepts. We can surely say that over the last few decades, the biennial ecosystem has expanded along with the network of curators.
Now, in order to know about the concept better, Sanjana Shah, Independent Curator, and Creative Director, Tao Art Gallery in a conversation with BW Applause and Everything Experiential talked about collaboration with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPIA) and more.
Q. Please tell us more about your collaboration with SVPIA?
Ans- The idea was to bring good art to a larger audience and enhance the experience of public transportation and travel. The concept of a gallery in an airport is an interesting format and allows us to change the art every few months, similar to a curated exhibition. The collaboration with SVPIA is on till November end 2021. So it is a 3-month exhibit and hopefully, we will continue the collaboration with many more exhibitions exploring interesting artists from around the country.
Q. What were the challenges you faced while setting up at the airport?
Ans- There were quite a few challenges. Owing to it being an airport and a high-security place, the logistical planning was complicated and filled with a lot of paperwork and checks at every point. Even the night of installation was tedious as each artwork had to be intricately opened and scanned by security before allowing its entry. The whole process was immensely time-consuming. The main worry was handling the art and safe placement on walls. The airport staff was very helpful and cooperative though and the end result was completely worth it!
Q. How did you select the artists to be featured here?
Ans- As a curator, I wanted to explore the experience of a 'journey' taken both physically through the airport but also metaphorically through the engagement with the art. So I specifically wanted to choose narrative and abstract art that would pull the viewer in and transform the way they perceive. The artists are a mix of Bombay based from our gallery portfolio and Ahmedabad based. I wanted to include some local artists as they would be familiar names for the city's art collectors.
Q. Please tell us about your journey as an art curator?
Ans- I've been the Creative Director of Tao since 2017 and have been curating the in-house exhibitions of the gallery. Recently I branched out to doing more independent curations and consulting for clients working closely with interior designers and other galleries. This airport curation is extremely special to me as it marks my first personally curated project in a public place. Going forward I hope to be able to contribute further to the aesthetic development of the country and also the intellectual growth of the audience in understanding and appreciating art better.
Q. Any tips for budding art curators?
Ans- I think as a curator you must always stick true to what resonates with your personal design philosophy and aesthetic. Choose artists that you believe in regardless of their fame, and invest your time and energy in them. Curation is about exploring, searching for the unique, and displaying that in a way that best communicates the essence to the audience. The curator is a translator, a bridge between the creator and the audience. It is crucial to do this job without any dilution, corruption, or inauthenticity.
Q. What is the impact of covid on the art industry?
Ans- COVID-19 has overall been very beneficial for the art world I would say. Not only have more people started collecting, the value of art in one's home has been transformed by the work from home experience. Many people have re-designed, re-decorated and art has played a central role in that. Budgets that were earlier put aside for travel are now being diverted towards art. The value of creativity in such tough times has been irreplaceable. Therefore there has been a great boom in our industry.
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