I stepped out of the airport and I was in love. Greeted by the smog, smells and the sounds of Delhi one can feel overwhelmingly small. The city is dirty and it’s loud, it’s full of people and animals. Cars and bikes, with horns constantly blasting and people begging in the street. Nothing is hidden, it’s in your face all the time, it’s beautiful and real.
There wasn’t a particular issue we were focused on during the residency, it was simple and complicated at the same time. 18 artists lived together for 21 days while contemplating the idea of small. Art has a power, that can communicate in various ways. The idea of creating art, each one of us making a piece that would be shown together, was a beautiful process. We slowly began to get to know each other and the city, venturing out and staying in. Working in the studio together gave us the chance to see ideas being born and gave room for conversation, critique and love. Art can convey emotional and experiential truth, and it can do this without words as it did for all of us through music and quiet time we spent together. Art is also an interpretation of reality, and Delhi has beauty in the color of its fabrics, the sparkle of its gems, the shape of its objects, and the faces of its people. By the end, all 18 of us and our experiences were represented in one room.
-Nikki Owens, Indianapolis, Residency Participant.