Set to start today, “Impressions of Dhaka”, an open studio art exhibition, will feature the outcomes of a recently held workshop participated by young Bangladeshi ceramic artists, and conducted by Bengal Foundations' residency artist Richard Crooks and Bangladeshi artist Ashim Halder Sagor. The open studio will also showcase the creative processes along with the outcomes of Richard Crooks’ four-weeks-long research based residency in Dhaka.
Bengal Foundation introduced the Residency Programme as part of its pedagogical approach in contributing to the new media art. British sculptor, Richard Crooks is the first artist of the new venture who is being hosted by Bengal Foundation for a five-week programme that began on February 15, 2017.
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A passionate student of South Asian sculpture, Richard Crooks set out to work "by observations of Bengali architectural practice that may be seen to reflect a unique cultural, sociological, and political evolution" in this residency programme. Through casting versions of ‘found’ textures and forms and small clay sculptures that allude to the proliferation of styles that he has modelled, Richard has been making sequences of sculptures that will form part of a solo exhibition in the UK, later this year.
He has also been making a horizontal structure which has been inspired by his observations while cycling underneath the flyovers in Dhaka City. “One just has to ride a bike! It's the only way,” Richard Crooks told Weekend Tribune.
Talking about the residency program, the British sculptor said that the program has allowed him a certain degree of immersion. Richard observed that Bengal Foundation has extraordinary access to the arts infrastructure within Dhaka and beyond, as he realised during the last five weeks of his stay in the capital.
The unique residency program has clearly created immense interest. “The residency itself has almost become the subject of the residency. Invitations to the Curatorial Symposium hosted by BF, the Samdeni seminar and meeting artists and critics have informed activities here and will emerge in the weeks and months ahead,” Richard Crooks said.
Richard's involvement with the project happened through a chance meeting with Hadrien Diez in Bengal Art Lounge a couple of years ago. But now fully immersed into it, Richard said he is deeply thankful to Tanzim Wahab, the Chief Curator at Bengal Foundation, for inviting him. “I must especially thank Tanzim Wahab for this invitation and I know that the visual arts program has ambitious plans for this project under his astute leadership.”
Richard particularly stressed that Bengal Foundation's program is not just a project, but there is a conscious and smart effort to “move toward a stronger pedagogical practice.” He thinks that the projects undertaken, do not just focus on a mere tangible outcome but “the process of how the students arrive at the results” has been given immense importance. Richard said that the idea of the workshops was basically about the “process”.
The exhibition is set to go on until next Friday, March 25.
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