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Goa Open Arts is pleased to announce the 6 artist recipients of the inaugural Catalyst Grants. Put out at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic amidst the rapid closure of art museums, galleries, universities and other spaces of artistic display and production, the Catalyst Grants were initiated with the intention of providing ongoing support to the artistic community of Goa via bursaries of INR 30,000 for art production. The Catalyst Grants will support 5 artists under the general category, and an additional 6th artist is supported in the New Media Arts category, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai. In addition to the monetary support and access to mentorship opportunities, the 6 grantees will have their work exhibited at the next Goa Open Arts public programme scheduled to take place in February 2020.

Tropical Leaves


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Afrah Shafiq

A multi/new media artist based out of Goa. She creates hybrid forms by bringing together text, sound, animation, code, interactivity and the handmade. Her work seeks ways to retain the tactile within the digital and the poetry within technology. 

For the Goa Open Arts Catalyst Grants, Afrah proposes to make a talking stone called ‘A tale of two sisters” that tells the story of Mother Mary and Shantadurga through their histories, songs, festivals, the people who love them and their dreams.

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Asavari Gurav

A painter and printmaker from Goa, currently pursuing an MA in Graphic Arts (Printmaking) from MSU University in Baroda, Gujarat. Gurav’s work draws from various different points of reference, often using inspiration from popular literature and theatre, and also makes reference to the socio-political conditions of Goan culture. Her paintings often build on an absurd narrative with motifs in a dreamlike space. For the Catalyst Grant, Gurav intends to research and work with folktales of Goa. The research will be presented via watercolour paintings on canvas, experiments with .GIF animations, and composite art books including drawings, prints and performative elements.

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Bhisaji Gadekar

Lives and works in Goa and is presently engaged with the contemporary artists’ group Goa Artists Collective. He works predominantly with sculpture, simultaneously integrating other mediums like site-specific installation and performance art. For the Catalyst Grant, Bhisaji proposes Second Skin ll, a series of sculptural installations based on traditional skills of craftsmanship that have now changed with modern technology. For Gadekar, it important to bring out the collective experience of ‘finding presence in moments of absence’ within different progressions and the ever-changing physical forms of the materiality used in the sculptures. He wishes to explore this as a way to bond with the personal narratives of artisans and their particular ways of seeing and making.



This is a three-piece band/artist collective (Enit Maria, Minam Apang & Srinivas Mangipudi), exploring the intersection between music and sound, through their interest in the vernacular, ritual and theatre, structures and systems found in nature, ecology and activism, while employing human and non-human agencies to create sonic drawings through their live performances. In these times of urbanity led Anthropocene, forest and their ecosystems are often seen in isolation through the urban lens as separate from ourselves and our living areas. Responding as artists as well as citizens to the fast-track forest clearances in Goa, Komas will bring to life a sound/music/visual composition “Mollem Resonance” with the forest of Mollem as a living entity.

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Poonam Pandit

A Goa-based textile-artist who has had a focus on weaving within her practice for the past decade. Her work is rooted in local handloom traditions and working with artisans to revive the heritage craft through contemporary design. Her project for the Catalyst Grant draws upon social, cultural and environmental narratives of fibre, originating from the primitive old world, past the new age synthetic, into the technological future world, symbolizing its journey through the ages. The outcome will be a series of tactile woven compositions made on the frame and table loom, exploring materials ranging from indigenous natural fibres, repurposed strings, retroreflective threads and even optic fibres.


Nandita Kumar ©Hervé Veronese Centre Po

Nandita Kumar

A new-media artist who works at the intersection of art, science, technology and community to creates interactive installations. Her interest lies in propelling the human race towards a sustainable development, which not only focuses on environmental protection but also on social development. She employs technology as though it were a natural element in an extended ecosystem. Her works are hybrids, rooted simultaneously in human nature while a pervasive electronic layer is integrated seamlessly. For the Catalyst Grant, Kumar proposes to create an interactive new media work by deconstructing political statements related to varied environmental issues from the data gathered has been proposed for the open call. The process includes collating statements made by influential individuals, media, politicians that are misleading, manipulative, or downright wrong related to environmental issues. These collated statements would then be put through a code generating “Haiku poems”, which will form the basis of creating a chance musical score. 

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