• ‘Beating the Odds: 36 hours of Art in Schiedam, Netherlands’ – Part 2 – An adventure by Einat Moglad

    We continue with Einat Moglad’s travel essay, picking up where we left off last week. In Part 2, she describes SodaFabriek, its architecture, history, and her experiences with the Bookmark Art Collective’s (BAC) ‘Magic Mirror’ exhibition on view there in July.


    Soda Fabriek - A Place for Dreamers

    I had a wonderful day with Peter van Velzen at SodaFabriek in Schiedam, Netherlands. It was a nice opportunity to get to know him. I knew that Peter was an architect, but through an in-depth conversation with him, I learned that he specializes in preserving buildings. He had helped different businesses renovate old buildings and worked in city hall, issuing permits and making sure buildings were well preserved. After many years of helping others to take care of old buildings, it seemed only natural that he would wish to renovate a building of his own. When the possibility to purchase the SodaFabriek building arose, Peter offered city hall a vision to create an artistic space for the community. SodaFabriek was originally an old gin factory but through Peter’s efforts, it was converted into a lively not-for-profit establishment for many different creative uses. 

    It wasn’t much of a surprise that such a positive and open-minded approach to the arts found its way to the artists of BAC. It seems that both the spirit of the collective and that of SodaFabriek were meant to be together. 





    SodaFabriek was definitely the highlight of my trip. This was my last chance to view, in person, the “Magic Mirror” exhibition I worked so hard on. Curating this show remotely was quite a challenge, working through local proxies such as Art and Peter. Coming here to the live exhibition in SodaFabriek was terribly exciting as I was about to meet in person what was for me, thus far, only an online experience.












    As I entered the SodaFabriek, and the BAC exhibit engaging the theme of spirituality, I found myself in front of a large scrolling paper with the invitation to add my mark to it, as all past visitors had done before me. I saw in this paper the traces of a past workshop held by Maria Di Gaetano & Analia Adorni. This was a welcoming way to have every visitor become a part of the show, to create and explore. 








    As I entered the first space, I could see Subhash Maskara’s video and music echoing throughout the space. The music created an enveloping sensation that matched the rusty domain of the space. Sound, all on its own, is an interesting element in the transference from online to the real world. Sound can hold a significant impact on a visitor.  It feels as though you are deepening yourself in a pond of music. The music colors your sensations toward the space. The feeling of sound can hardly be captured in photos or words, and it’s my most memorable experience from the show. Sound is art that goes beneath the skin. 





    SodaFabriek, as mentioned, is an old gin factory. It was important for Peter to maintain some of the factory’s old rustic charm while keeping the building atmosphere as a playground for creativity. The renovation and restoration efforts maintain a tension of being touched and untouched at the same time. A lot of the building’s original structure, tools, and elements remain present in the different rooms. Among those elements are big tanks of gin that were transformed into places for sitting and observing the artworks and videos. 

    Sitting inside these round iron containers is an experience of its own and is substantially different from the “white cube” presentations of art that we are used to. In one of those containers, I watched Anirban Mishra’s circling animations. When one sits in this round container, it feels like going back into the womb. This video womb became an interesting landmark in the show as it offered an experience of wholeness.

    The show felt more like a journey than just an exhibition. Throughout the exhibit, I was able to walk from one space to the next, crossing corridors and containers, and going up and down the stairs. I watched art from up close or at a distance. I walked through a “forest” of paintings, such as Kojo Binay’s installation room, and observed from afar, art such as Nino Kundadze’s work. I had an intimate encounter with Fitz Simmon’s piece that was lurking in a corner. The art felt not so much like an exhibition, but like a path one takes. I didn’t expect this feeling during my online curatorial work with Art and Peter.

    This journey in the SodaFabriek space got me thinking a lot about the differences between online and offline experiences as well as the technological aspects of the experience. Much like Schiedam’s Stedelijk Museum, it seems that technology is here as part of our artistic experiences. Still, I am here in Schiedam in person because there is a sensual element in experiencing things firsthand. Technology can’t yet feed all the senses. Our body is the traveler, the witness, the player in the game. We still can’t fully replace the experience of “being there” with online activities. 

    We still need to take the voyage in person wherever it may take us – in art and in life.  Dealing with uncertainty as this little “adventure “taught me is that the only certainty you can have in life is to trust that the voyage will take you where you need to go – wherever that may be.

    About the Author

    Einat Moglad is a contemporary Israeli artist and art therapist. She completed her M.A. in “Art Therapy” from Haifa University in 2013 and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Arts and Education, Cum Laude from Hamidrasha Beit-Berl College in 2011.

    Since 2011, Einat has displayed dozens of her artworks in exhibitions and galleries across Israel and around the world (including NYC, the UK, and other locations around Europe). She has also participated in festivals and residencies in Israel and abroad.

    Einat debuted her solo exhibition “Edges” at Machon Hamayim soon after her graduation exhibition. Her curatorial activity started in 2012 with her experimental art project “Scribble it Down”--online co-creations across cultural distances. The project has resulted in six exhibitions and has seen the participation of dozens of artists from around the world. Its last iteration, "Between Worlds" was presented as a live exhibition in 2018 at the ND Gallery in Tel Aviv.

    In 2020 Einat conducted the international Bookmark Workshop, which culminated in the exhibition "Rhythm of the Blue Marble" and in the creation of the Bookmark Artist Collective (BAC), represented by the Avanguardian Gallery in London.  As both founder and member of BAC, she curated several online magazines "Rhythm of the Blue Marble'' (2020) and "Inside Out '' (2021) focusing on spirituality in art. In 2022, Einat curated the exhibition “Magic Mirror” with BAC and participated as a featured BAC artist in the show “NoTaboo” at SodaFabriek.

  • ‘Beating the Odds: 36 hours of Art in Schiedam, Netherlands’ – Part 1 – An adventure by Einat Moglad

    Please enjoy this two-part travel essay by EAS network curator, artist, and workshop leader Einat Moglad about her experience with the Bookmark Artists Collective and its ‘Magic Mirror’ exhibition, which led to her journey, aesthetic explorations and discoveries in Schiedam, NL.  


    Against All Odds

    My short adventure in the Netherlands began during an online workshop with the onset of the turbulent year of 2020. With the world going in and out of lockdowns, I wanted to create an ecosystem for artists to enhance creativity and a place of gathering and community that would be most appropriate for the circumstances. 

    And so, the Bookmark workshop was born. 

    The workshop was quite successful in attracting talented artists from around the world and also showcasing a communal exhibition in magazines and on the EAS website as an online show: ‘Rhythm of the Blue Marble’. I honestly expected that after such a successful endeavor we would all go our separate ways. However, the group expressed its desire to continue meeting and continuing the communal creation process. This led to the formation of the Bookmark Artist Collective (BAC).

    Our first project as a collective was targeting a theme of spirituality. We read articles, met with experts, and learned a lot from each other on our spiritual viewpoints in life. We planned to create a magazine that would showcase our artistic output that resulted from this process. After two years of challenging work, the Bookmark Arts Collective Magazine on spirituality  ‘Inside Out’  was released by members: Maria De Gaetano as editor, Magdalena Zajac as designer, and myself as curator.

    BAC received an invitation to perform an exhibition at SodaFabriek in Schiedam, Netherlands in the fall of 2021. BAC met with Peter Van Velzen, owner of SodaFabriek, and finalized a plan to present the upcoming summer. I wasn’t sure how this would be done exactly, or how I could curate this show from afar.  Thanks to the support of EAS, I was able to travel to the Netherlands and felt confident I would be able to create the show the way I felt it should be presented. It was very exciting to be able to present this project in such a unique space. 

    The show preparation took place while the world was still reeling from the implications of covid shutdowns, but I was hopeful that everything would work out by the time the exhibition was due to begin. I had this tingling feeling that against all odds it was still going to happen. 

    Alas, as final preparations for my travels were being made, I was notified that I couldn’t go due to special Covid restrictions specific to the Netherlands. I was surprised and saddened. I felt that I was too optimistic in the end. There wasn’t much I could do but attempt and curate the show remotely. The exhibition ‘Magic Mirror’ was successfully set up even with the added complications of working remotely. After two years of arduous work, it was a bit sad for me to be so far away from the location of the show.

    There was a sudden change of circumstances once the exhibition had already begun, and I suddenly had an opportunity to attend it. I hadn’t been able to completely curate the exhibition myself, but at least I would be able to experience it in person. I had to decide quickly. It was already the last days of the exhibition. I had my own obligations to take into consideration. Should I go? Would it matter at this point? Should I even bother at this point?

    YES, of course, YES. 

    I still remember with a tingling sensation how against all odds it finally happened. I simply had to be there. It was now or never. No regrets! I made my plans within a single day (accommodations, flights) to at least see the show, and say hello and goodbye. This project that my heart was so invested in, I simply had to be there. 


    Schiedam, Art Has a Different Tempo

    When I arrived in Schiedam at noon, my usual fast pace walks and temper suddenly seemed out of place and strange in this small town. My suitcase’s loud sound beating on the brick pavement seemed to violate the silent tranquility all around me. As I was crossing the canal, I realized that this town, much like its rivers, moves to the beat of the slow stream.

    Skipping nervously from side to side, I was trying in vain to figure out the directions to my hotel. Suddenly, a local man noticed my “I’m Lost” vibes and truly went out of his way to help me and direct me to my destination. “Well,” I thought to myself, “this is not city life as I know it”. Although this was only going to be a short visit, it seemed that Schiedam was urging me to explore. 

    On my very first evening, I met with Art Stoop– artist, colleague, and a member of the BAC. Art showed me around the district, and we came across a gallery where we could see very interesting paintings being presented. As we thought about entering, we were greeted by the gallery owner, Jokka Bekker. She told us about the “Center for African Art” in Schiedam, a gallery and residency for African artists. It is strange seeing African art in the Netherlands, and I was curious about the circumstances that led Jokka to decide to support African art and artists. 

    Turns out that Jokka used to volunteer with Doctors Without Borders in Africa and came across too many African artists who had truly little chance of success in the international art world. She made this the gallery’s goal and mission statement--to be a voice and venue for these talented artists to have a real shot at being exposed to the art world of today. Jokka struck me as a pioneer and as a strong woman standing up for her beliefs and values. She felt that the process of art-making was just as important as the result. The gallery is organized to allow viewers who walk next to the gallery to see the artist in action and experience the magic that happens in the Center for African Art. 

    The next day, I had scheduled to meet Peter van Velzen from SodaFabriek at the Stedelijk Museum in Schiedam. I arrived early, allowing me the opportunity to have a short stroll around the museum. As I walked down Hoogstraat Street, I suddenly saw a huge cookie monster chewing on a Yoda doll and some Disney illustrations.  “Well,” I thought “this is an interesting place” and I decided to go in. I found myself in a gallery dedicated to sketches and animation art. I was greeted by Wolter, the founder of the Animation Nation Gallery. 

    Wolter worked for many years as an animation movies documentarist. His love and passion for animated movies seemed to be in his blood as he shared much of his knowledge about the process and the creation of animated films from past to present. Due to his work as a documentarist, he has gained access to many talented animation artists. Through these encounters, he was
    able to procure a diverse collection of animation art: sketches, drawings and paintings. 

    Wolter’s collection holds plastic paintings that were traditionally used in animation. They are rare findings and highly coveted by collectors. I had a wonderful conversation with him and learned many new things about the art of animation that I didn’t know before. I felt as though I could spend hours talking with Wolter about animation but sadly the clock was ticking, and I needed to get to the Museum for my planned meeting with Peter. 

    I previously had many talks with Peter in preparing the exhibition at SodaFabriek via Zoom, but this would be my first time meeting him in person. Yet, we immediately recognized each other from a distance. It’s funny how the world of online meetings has made connections feel so real and natural even when stepping outside the digital sphere.


    Stedelijk Museum - Art Is Religion  

    Peter and I entered the main hall of the museum which used to be an old church. We bought tickets under the pulpit. This combination of art and religion felt as though it said “This place is sacred” and I’m definitely one of its disciples. 😊

    As we walked through the museum’s first exhibition, the history of Schiedam unfolded before me. Schiedam is a small city with a history of mainly working-class people. This was a chance for me to better understand the local culture and the creative ways residents found to sustain themselves. 

    The museum offered several interesting exhibitions. The upper floors held a series of exhibitions dedicated to four elements: Water, Earth, Fire, and another quite surprising element. The ”Water” room was a blue room dedicated to the canals and to the movement and flow of water. “Fire” was a red room dedicated to dealing with fires and portraits of great disasters in Schiedam's past. “Earth” was a chance to see the local’s relation to agriculture and the earth itself. But…there was an interesting twist.

    I expected the fourth room to be dedicated to wind with all those famous windmills decorating the Netherlands. However, the fourth element was actually “Technology”.

    When I think about my encounters with Peter, transitioning so effortlessly from online to face-to-face, and how the very BAC endeavor was born in the online space, I can’t help but be thankful for the myriad ways technology can connect us. 

    Suddenly, it seems so natural that technology is indeed an element in our life, an element that surrounds and influences us. It allows us to experience this world in more dimensions and offers additional focused ways to experience our surroundings. This concept was beautifully presented in the wonderful installation by Muhcini Ennou – “Digital Landscape”.

    This work has its charm and a hypnotizing sensation due to its slow, meditative state. The space is filled with white curtains flowing in different corners of the room.  In the middle, a video is being projected with many pillows around to sit comfortably in order to watch. 

    The video at its core is a simple presentation of a wide-open desert landscape. It’s been shot along the duration of a full day and night cycle, with white curtains flowing gently in the breeze. At first sight, it’s a simple video, but once I sat down to watch it I just couldn’t take my eyes off it. I could spend an entire day just watching the gentle movement of the curtains, entering a meditative state of peace and tranquility. 

    Another wonderful surprise was six large-scale installations by a team led by Zoro Feigl. As I was about to enter the first installation, I was profoundly impressed by Zoro placing a sign praising his team for the important help and effort they invested in the artworks being shown. This sign was a refreshing approach in the art world of single and mostly individualistic artists. As an artist striving to work within a collective, I believe that the impact of working together has qualities that aren’t well appreciated in today’s art world. 

    Zoro’s show presented a large-scale installation in the museum orchestrated by a gentle and subtle movement. These installations mimic nature in diverse ways and offer a whole-body experience. 

    One piece presented a loud, cold, man-made waterfall.  It’s a very profound experience standing next to this orange waterfall with its cold air tingling in your nose and the water’s sensation wrapping you in during the warm summer day. 

    Zoro’s show offered many different installations where I had the chance to “fly on a magic carpet”, or sit by a water pond, or find myself standing below a large water drum echoing its soft marble crashing sounds. 

    I felt the exhibition offered a spiritual sensation through my whole being and gave me a chance to not only be a passive observer but to interact with the piece and have some internal contemplation.

    As the museum visit came to an end, I could honestly conclude that it was a truly delightful experience. It offered me a chance to feel that much like Schiedam’s rivers and canals, art can move to its own beat of a slow stream of beauty and awe.


    Part 2 of this essay:
    Traveling to the Soda Fabriek, a former gin factory transformed into a rustic creative space, and the Bookmark Art Collective's 'Magic Mirror' Exhibition.


    About the Author

    Einat Moglad is a contemporary Israeli artist and art therapist. She completed her M.A. in “Art Therapy” from Haifa University in 2013 and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Arts and Education, Cum Laude from Hamidrasha Beit-Berl College in 2011.

    Since 2011, Einat has displayed dozens of her artworks in exhibitions and galleries across Israel and around the world (including NYC, the UK, and other locations around Europe). She has also participated in festivals and residencies in Israel and abroad.

    Einat debuted her solo exhibition “Edges” at Machon Hamayim soon after her graduation exhibition. Her curatorial activity started in 2012 with her experimental art project “Scribble it Down”--online co-creations across cultural distances. The project has resulted in six exhibitions and has seen the participation of dozens of artists from around the world. Its last iteration, "Between Worlds" was presented as a live exhibition in 2018 at the ND Gallery in Tel Aviv.

    In 2020 Einat conducted the international Bookmark Workshop, which culminated in the exhibition "Rhythm of the Blue Marble" and in the creation of the Bookmark Artist Collective (BAC), represented by the Avanguardian Gallery in London.  As both founder and member of BAC, she curated several online magazines "Rhythm of the Blue Marble'' (2020) and "Inside Out '' (2021) focusing on spirituality in art. In 2022, Einat curated the exhibition “Magic Mirror” with BAC and participated as a featured BAC artist in the show “NoTaboo” at SodaFabriek.

  • ‘Takshila Fine Arts Scholars Show’ by Shreyo Sengupta | Santiniketan, India

    We are pleased to feature a piece written by research scholar Shreyo Sengupta on the Takshila Fine Arts Scholars Show (July 2022) designed by EAS network artist Arpita Akhanda.  Congratulations to the five scholarship recipients!

    In a very short period of time, Arthshila Santiniketan has emerged as one of the important destinations for the artists and art lovers in West Bengal through their various activities at Shyambati, Bolpur. The Takshila fine art scholar’s show was established to encourage young students with master's degrees and artists working in and around Santiniketan. In 2020, the Takshila education society decided to start an annual scholarship programme for five artists from the department of painting, sculpture, graphics art/printmaking and art history with 12 months of tenure. Ammu. S, Amaldev S. Narayanan, Ghanashyam Latua, Maksud Ali Mondal, and Santanu Chakraborty are those five recipients of the scholarship this year, who showcased their artworks at Arthshila Santiniketan from 15th July to 31st July 2022.

    'Unposted Letters' by Ammu.S | Cyanotype and acrylic on Indian postcards

    Ammu.S, the only woman artist in this show, is pursuing her master's degree in the Graphics and Printmaking Department at Kala-Bhavan. She has explored the relationship between nature and women in this social structure. Her works are inspired by post-minimal feminine aesthetics, as she was able to formulate a simple yet very powerful visual expression. She has chosen the process of cyanotype with her own methodology incorporating some added organic colours with it. The impressions of mundane and found objects in the process come as a metaphor for a transformation in the life of a woman and phases of the human psyche as well. We often tend to overlook some of the minute objects around us like delicate petals, plants, the feather of a bird swinging through the air, or a rainy day. These postcards or cyanotype impressions take us back to those fleeting memories and their fragility, evoking a sense of nostalgia. Sometimes she shifts towards abstraction creating multiple possibilities of interpretation as a viewer.

    Untitled by Amaldev S.Narayanan | Marble, leather, wood

    Amaldev S. Narayanan's works draw our attention as one can find different sensibilities at the same time. His works are sometimes reminiscent of the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico or the ‘poetic surreal’ world of Ganesh Pyne. Amaldev has used some discarded materials such as old furniture, leather, wood, marble, etc, and juxtaposed them to create a surreal and poetic narrative. These discarded materials have their own memories and stories that are waiting to be heard. These are the testimonies of the ruins of modernity and human despair around us in a fast-changing society. A dog and an inverted head indicate the existential contradictions of human beings. Sometimes animals appear with satirical connotations in a certain social-political context.

    Pin work on archival print from the series ‘Bolpurer Pothe’ | Ghanashyam Latua’s interpretation of Benode Behari Mukherjee’s mural in Kala Bhavana hostel

    Ghanashyam Latua has emerged as one of the important young artists in recent times. He has been an ardent critic of the politics around land, displacement, and urbanization of our time. In this series, he has selected some photographs of very well-known artworks of pedagogical figures in Santiniketan, like Nandalal Bose, Benode Behari Mukherjee, and Ramkinkar Baij. These artists during the Swadeshi movement and post-independence era romanticised rural landscapes and people around them, countering the idea of industrial civilization and Euro-centric modernity. In our time, Ghanashyam as a sensible artist has re-interpreted and re-contextualised these photographic archival prints by pricking them with sharp needle-like tools, as he considers them marks of excoriation by the late capitalist and opaque society. The unethical practice of land or water body acquisition, audacious land mafia raj, mining, and collapse of agrarian society have been recurring and haunting elements in his works. These marks can be a metaphor for scathing landscape or human skin. This series is named after Nandalal Bose’s artwork Bolpurer pothe (Way to Bolpur) as Ghanashyam is possibly trying to suggest the changing topography in and around Khoai landscape and Santiniketan due to rampant urbanization and tourism. The changing social-political factors have shown us the reality. 'Bolpurer pothe' is a rather anxious question to the viewers subject to introspection: can we become sensible enough to see the changing landscape in Gurudev’s 'Abode of peace' or able to survive the inevitable being in this archipelago of hope?

    Left: Untitled | Mixed Media  ||| Right: 'Autonomous Habitat'  | Mixed Media ||| By Maksud Ali Mondal

    Maksud Ali Mondal’s artworks carry us into a deeper philosophical and introspective strata like the Baul, Fakir, and Sahajia traditions of Bengal, which may have been an inspiration for him. Maksud takes us on a journey of microscopic level and the cycle of an organism decaying while another is germinating at the same time. His ongoing work process signifies ephemerality, our existence, being and the cycle of life and death. It questions the psychological traits of the human ego or Aham and the notion of time as well as an inward journey that starts while confronting these artworks. His concept resonates with the lines of Swinburne-

    'All we wax old and wither like a leaf

    We are outcast, strayed between bright sun and moon;

    Our light and darkness are as leaves of flowers,

    Black flowers and white that perish; and the moon

    As midnight, and night as daylight hours.

    A little fruit a little while ours,

    And the worm finds it soon.'

    Maksud’s experiment includes different mediums like photographs, sculpture, painting, installation, etc. facilitating the idea of contamination and concepts of change and transience. He has participated in many national and international residencies and biennales at a very young age and was also awarded a national scholarship from the Ministry of Culture of India.

    Left: 'Mussel collector by the Kopai in Goalpara' | Photograph and drawing ||| Right: 'Kash by the Kopai-1' | Charcoal on Paper ||| by Santanu Chakraborty

    As a traveler and a scholar, Santanu Chakraborty has been a keen observer of nature, its tremendous potential, and the people surrounding it as his artistic journey starts with the trails in the Himalayan range. His journey in Santiniketan had started with a project to document the Ganges. In this show, he has exhibited his photographs and some sketches of the landscape around Santiniketan and Kopai river after joining here as a student of the Art History Department at Kala-Bhavana. His works focus on the politics of changing topography, human intervention, cultivation, ecology, and its association with the sublime and the profane in the anthropocentric epoch. His background as a civil engineer and a biologist has certainly helped him to engage with philosophical questions and crises more deeply.

    Landscape in art has also been associated with its long history, ownership, memory, and temporality. Like Ghanashyam, Santanu is also concerned with the recent social-political economic scenario surrounding the Santiniketan land. Some of his photographs witness the meditative and monumental quality of landscape paintings of Benode Behari Mukherjee (especially 'Sarban' and 'Laughter') and pedagogical figures in Kala Bhavana. His photographs have their own story to tell, blurring the hierarchy of natural 'paradise' and industrial confrontations. These photographic investigations that have been done over the years are visual semiology of our anxiousness in contemporary conditions.

    Note:  Images courtesy - Arthshila Santiniketan


    Shreyo Sengupta is an artist, research scholar, and photographer with eight years of experience. He completed an MFA degree in the department of Painting from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata in 2011. He was the recipient of the UGC Junior Research Fellowship in Visual art and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the Department of Painting at Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. He is interested in documenting and studying community culture and lesser-known traditions in India and its notion of contemporaneity with its ethno-archeological possibilities. He is a participant of several group shows and international seminars and has completed several research publications on Indian art. He also works as a freelance graphics designer and illustrator.
  • ‘Transitions and Transformations: The Constant Flux of Our Personal Structures’ Venice Symposium | Italy

    Last April we reported on our partnership and participation with Gerri Ondrizek, Reed College and the European Cultural Center for the ‘Transitions and Transformations: The Constant Flux of Our Personal Structures’ exhibition at the Palazzo Bembo in Venice, Italy, as a collateral event of the 2023 Venice Bienalle (April 23 – November 27). The exhibit was presented in two parts and three sections—Biological, Environmental and Socio-Political Structures. Among the fifteen artists in the show, EAS was pleased to feature the work of three EAS network artists--Jayeti Bhattacharya and Vikrant Kano from India and Sai Blank from Myanmar--in the 'Part 1, Socio-Political Structures' section of the exhibition that was up through July 25.

    Geraldine Ondrizek, Jane Chin Davidson, Sai Blank, Stephanie Gervais, Sara Olivia Fuentes, Fernanda X. Oyarzún, Genevieve Gaiser Tremblay, Jayeti Bhattacharya

    This Fall (September 22), a symposium focusing on the exhibition themes was held online and in Venice. The event included panel presentations and discussions facilitated by art historian, Jane Chin Davidson. The EAS panel discussants included Ann Wettrich, Director of Programs and Administration, along with artists Jayeti Bhattacharya and Sai Blank. Today, we are pleased to offer a deeper dive into this insightful experience, with links to the full recording of the symposium along with shorter video clips.

    Jayeti speaking about her work with the panel and Ann Wettrich (top right)
    Sai speaking about his work


    To learn more about the 'Transitions and Transformations: The Constant Flux of Our Personal Structures’ click here.

  • ‘Building Positive Relations – Arts and Human Rights’ | Ottawa, Canada

    This past spring, long-time EAS participant, advisory board member, and artist, Ramon Blanco-Barrera co-led, developed, and facilitated the International Arts & Human Rights Symposium with Principal Investigator, Oonagh E. Fitzgerald (international lawyer and artist) at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) of the University of Ottawa. EAS was honored to gather online with several dozen colleagues from around the globe and reflect together on human rights and the role of the arts in today’s world.  The EAS team continues to value and draw from the lively dialogue and exchange, provocative presentations and performances, rich ideas, resources and connections that we experienced throughout the symposium.  Ramon generously agreed to write a short piece with links to the newly minted symposium website, enabling us to share it with you here.


    The Second International Arts and Human Rights Symposium was held and promoted by the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) of the University of Ottawa, timed (April 12-13, 2022) to celebrate World Art Day (April 15) and developed in the context of the 40th anniversary of HRREC and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Artists, human rights advocates and activists, philosophers, teachers, sociologists, historians, and many others from around the world, across diverse fields and backgrounds, met to discuss the topic ‘Building Positive Relations: The Arts, New Materialism, Posthumanism & Human Rights.’ The Symposium was structured around six roundtables where guest speakers presented their work on the following themes:

      • - New Materialism, Post Humanism and Human rights
      • - 4 Decades and 40 Years of Art, Philosophy and Human Rights In celebration of HRREC’s 40th anniversary
      • - Globalization, Human Rights and Art
      • - Sustainability, Equity and Justice in Teaching Human Rights and Art
      • - Anti-Coloniality, Intersectionality, and Identity
      • - Healing from Human rights and Anthropocene Trauma through Art\Creation

    An additional forum emerged  ‘Articulating a Manifesto on Human Rights and the Arts for our Times.’  

    After Jahangir’ by Asma Kazmi (Artist and Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley) |||  Click the image above to see a recording of this symposium presentation.

    Solo exhibition artworks by Federico Guzmán (Artist and independent researcher, Sevilla, Spain) |||  Click the image above to see a recording of this symposium presentation.

    Altogether the symposium highlighted contrasting and high-level communications and performances, enriching a diversity of perspectives and ideas on wide-ranging subjects that include: our collective existence; the connections between us and our surroundings; the un\sub\trans\posthuman and the use of new technologies; techno-capitalism; materiality and the bodies entangled with our production and consumption; the capacity of art to convey meaning in a mobilizing manner; human needs; social justice; the pandemic; climate change, socio-economic inequality; the abstract symbols of words and letters that make communication more difficult; the inequitable hierarchies that still persist in our world; the role of resisting and moving forward; the imagination of other futures; the face of the unfaced\invisible\absent; our ethical relationships with life and the universe in all forms; hope and much more. All these ideas represent interconnected imaginaries of our current world with the intent to raise awareness, inspire others and generate new healthy experiences in harmony with everything.

    Art with Women in the refugee camps of Western Sahara - Kimiko (Kimika) Nonomura (Artist, Japan) |||  Click the image above to see a recording of this symposium presentation.

    Visit the symposium website for detailed information and resources,
    including Day 1 videos and Day 2 videos.  




    Ramon Blanco-Barrera is a Social Catalyst & Artist who sends social and political messages intended to inspire people to reflect on their communities, both local and universal. Ph.D. (2021). Currently he is a Faculty Member of Fine Arts at the University of Seville (Spain) teaching new media-based courses.  



  • ‘The Intersection of Sight and Sound’ | Cape Town, South Africa

    South African musician and visual artist Caitlin Mkhasibe’s creative work can be found at the intersection of sight and sound.  Emergent Art Space has previously featured her work, and we were thrilled to catch up with her again in May during the ‘Synesthesia and the Student’ virtual symposium. We learned about the latest iteration of her growing body of work inspired by investigations into synesthesia, and the three new pieces made in response to varied landscapes and sonic environments.  Here, she shares her artwork and symposium video presentation that include field recordings and documentation of her compelling research, influences, explorations and creative strategies.


    Artist Statement

    Caitlin Mkhasibe, created three monochromatic artworks for the May 2022 ‘Synesthesia and the Student’ virtual symposium, hosted by the International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists and Scientists (IASAS). As a form of simulated/ synthetic synesthesia, two of the artworks were created outdoors, in Cape Town, South Africa. Mkhasibe used mark-making to mimic the expansive and meditative sounds of nature and its textures. The works’ mediums consist of charcoal, chalk, vegan acrylic paint and ink, brush, masking tape and gel pen on 300 gsm Hahnemuhle paper.

    Sonic Portrait of the Sea | 2022 | Sand, charcoal, vegan ink & acrylic paint, chalk, brush on paper | 59.4 cm x 42 cm

    Sonic Portrait of the Mountain | 2022 | Charcoal, vegan ink, chalk, brush on paper | 59.4 cm x 42 cm




    The two outdoor works are titled, Sonic Portrait of the Sea (2022), done at Kreeftebaai / Crayfish Beach, and Sonic Portrait of a Mountain (2022), done at Silvermine Nature Reserve. These artworks used expressive, abstract marks, rather than figurative representation. The field recordings accompanying these pieces were played in Mkhasibe’s video presentation as part of the ‘Synesthesia and the Student’ symposium. Her talk also included accompanying photographs of the natural spaces, the artist working on her visual response while there and close-up images of the final artworks.

    Drone Day Sound Work by Caitlin Mkhasibe & helo samo | 2022 | Charcoal, vegan ink & acrylic paint, chalk, brush, gel pen, masking tape on paper | 59.4 cm x 42 cm









    The third artwork made for the symposium is a visual representation of a collaborative sound work done with artist, helo samo, for this year's global Drone Day event, coinciding on 28 May 2022. SenSA (Sonic Exploration Southern Africa) created a compilation of participating musicians, which was live-streamed on Hamsack Radio on the day of the event.







    ‘Synesthesia & the Student’ Theme

    Since high school, Mkhasibe has been a drummer and during her studies at the Michaelis School of Fine Art (at the University of Cape Town) from 2012 – 2015, she was curious about ways of merging sound with visual art. She is not a synaesthete but learned of simulated synesthesia while doing her own research on the intersection of sight and sound.

    Neil Harbisson, the first self-acclaimed cyborg, has an implant that reads colour as sound to help navigate his colour blindness and that was of interest to Mkhasibe. With the help of guest lecturer, Niek de Greef, Mkhasibe then did a web-based project where Harbisson’s favourite ‘sounding’ artworks were displayed as he sees them, in black and white, and when the viewer hovered over them with a mouse, they could hear the tones of the various colours. Even though Harbisson is sighted, the choice of focusing on the auditory and how his lifestyle might differ from Mkhasibe’s as a visual artist, was intriguing to Mkhasibe, where, for example, Harbisson chose outfits that ‘sounded’ good.

    With this inspiration in mind and after attending an artist presentation by James Webb (a South African artist who creates sound installations) at the art school. Mkhasibe then further created monochromatic sound art during her time at university, notably, Lowest Hearing Frequency Range (2013). Using water and light cymatics, Mkhasibe made a video response to the low vibrations animals hear that are inaudible to humans. The installation was displayed at group exhibitions, such as, ‘Bring Your Own Beamer’ (2014) at Brundyn+ Gallery in Cape Town, ‘Translations’ (2015) on Emergent Art Space, and in 2016 at the Nandalal Bose Gallery in the Rabindranath Tagore Centre, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in India. In 2015, as part of her Michaelis School of Fine Art’s, ‘Grad Show’, exhibition titled, And then there was a Subterraneous Hum, with special thanks to Matt Jones, Mkhasibe created an installation on noise pollution in the ocean. Videos of her illustrations were displayed in a room where you could sing to a whale and it would sing back. In 2015, Mkhasibe was one of eight drummers recorded for Untitled (with the sound of its own making) – a solar powered, multi-channel loudspeaker system and audio as part of James Webb’s two solo exhibitions titled, ‘Ecstatic Interference’ (2016), at Blank Projects in Cape Town and ‘We Listen for the Future’ (2016), at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Leeds.

    Film photograph (left) by Charl Fourie | @kameragraaf

    While studying, Mkhasibe played in a band, Morning Pages, doing two live performances a month. The performances were soundscapes to projected video and stop-motion visuals created internally which mattered more than the musicians’ visibility to the audience. Until the Covid19 pandemic, Morning pages played at various exhibitions, theatres and live music venues in South Africa.

    For more information on Caitlin Mkhasibe: https://linktr.ee/caitlinmkhasibe
  • ‘Transitions and Transformations’ | Venice, Italy | April-Nov. 2022

    Please see updated Video Documentation and Exhibition Reviews/Information links at the bottom of this page. (Revised 11/15/22)

    'The Constant Flux of our Personal Structures'

    Panoramic view of the exhibition

     Artist, EAS Advisory Board member and Art Professor Geraldine Ondrizek from Reed College in Oregon curated the international show 'Transitions and Transformations: The Constant Flux of our Personal Structures', which is included in the sixth edition of  'Personal Structures', a biennial contemporary art exhibition hosted by the European Cultural Centre in Venice, Italy. This group show, with 13 participating artists, is a collateral event of the Venice Biennale and includes the work of three artists, featured below, from the EAS international community of emerging artists: Sai Blank from Yangon, Myanmar; Jayeti Bhattacharya from Kolkata and Vikrant Kano from New Delhi, India. Their work on exhibit includes artist books, videos, prints and digitally archived photographs that poetically respond to political turmoil, violent repression, and their human impact.

    'The first 100 Hours’ by Geraldine Ondrizek, installation, artist book and video


    Curator's Statement

    This exhibition focuses on the internal and external forces that transform each of our ‘Personal Structures’. Each body of work presented takes an empathic look at the genetic, physical and psychological effects that our shifting reality has on us. The work in the exhibition is documentary-based and made with/and/or by with those in transition, or showing the effects of transformations.

    EAS wall: works by Sai Blank, Jayeti Bhattacharya and Vikrant Kano

    The exhibition is organized into three sections; Biological Factors: works concerned with issues of genetics
    and epigenetics on our physical and psychological selves; Environmental Factors: works showing the effects of climate change on the landscape and human livelihoods; Socio-Political Factors: works documenting and responding
    to forced immigration, indigenous identity and homelessness. Situating Geraldine Ondrizek’s work documenting human gestation, The First 100 Hours on the back wall of the exhibition space, gives context to the other works. Ondrizek’s work chronicles the most important period of human genetic development.

    The ability for all human life to survive and thrive in these first 100 hours depends on biological, environmental and socio-political factors. Our 'Personal Structures' are continually changed by our encounters with the elements, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the plants and animals surrounding us. These chance encounters both make and reform us. All the works in this exhibition make visible the often invisible or under-recognized circumstances that cause the transformation to our individual genetic structures.

    Artist book by Vikrant Kano and Trails of Absence video by Sai Blank

    This project is a collaboration with the network of artists, scientists, and socio-political activists, many of whom were students of Ondrizek who has taught at Reed College over the last twenty nine years. The artists represented in this exhibition are from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations. They are addressing pressing issues that have affected their personal lives. These works show not only difficult situations, but emphasize the metamorphosis and the resilience of living organisms and ecosystems. The exhibition, presented in two parts is on view at the Palazzo Bembo in Venice.

    Part I: April 23 - July 25 /  Part II:  August 1 - November 27, 2022.

    Sai Blank / Myanmar


    Trails of Absence

    Sai's ongoing work follows the political turmoil that has engulfed Myanmar since the coup of 2021 and specifically the trauma inflicted on his own family, exploring the dramatic narrative of the relationship between his father, who has been held as a political prisoner by the Burmese junta since the coup, and his mother, who lives under 24 hour surveillance and in constant fear. His father is one of 8,835 arrested, charged or sentenced political prisoners. Political leaders, activists, protesters and their families are presently being arrested, tortured and killed by Myanmar Military.

    Trails of Absence by Sai Blank, archival digital print

    Sai Blank is a young artist, curator and peace educator from Myanmar. On February 1st, 2021, a military coup took power in the country, destroying the rising democracy of the previous several years. Mass demonstrations, from all sectors of society, protested the coup. They lasted days, weeks and months, showing enormous courage in the face of the violent repression. Most former members of the National League for Democracy were arrested, subjected to farce trials and sent to prison, where they are still today. Sai saw the end of his personal freedom and the shattering of hopes for his country. Sai is likely to return to Myanmar soon where prison or death awaits.

    Jayeti Bhattacharya  / India


    Interference: Where Do We Belong...  

    Jayeti has developed a body of drawings conceptualized around the idea of how external forces cause disruptions in the normal course of events. The artist used this concept to represent how certain political and social decisions affect the lives of the commoner without their consent. Referencing the Partition of India along religious lines (Hindu and Muslim) in 1947, which her family witnessed, she created the drawings in the form of waves of motion, movement and migration. People who were once the owners of their own home and land suddenly had nowhere to go. The oral narratives of the past are still present in her mind, together with today’s political scenario, pushing her to create the forms and lines which are nothing but the resultant waves caused by the interference.

    Interference: Where Do We Belong...  by Jayeti Bhattacharya, 4 drawings, graphite, watercolor and typed text on Fabriano Rosaspina

    Jayeti Bhattacharya lives and works in Kolkata, India. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Kala Bhavana University, Santiniketan in 2014. She is now represented by Terrain.art Gallery in New Delhi where she had her first solo show ‘Shifting Coordinates’.  Her work has been included in local and international exhibitions.

    Vikrant Kano / India


    In Search of Home

    Vikrant's work is representative of violence, struggle, and necessity. India's partition along religious lines (Hindu and Muslim) in 1947, immediately after the independence from British rule, resulted in mass migration which often turned violent. People were forced to leave their ancestral houses and migrate to another land overnight, with complete uncertainty of their future, experiencing a state of forced 'homelessness'. His work documents his family’s path of relocation and displacement, an almost perpetual and physical state of being in transit. He follows an archival process, where he traces the footsteps of his paternal family through 'physical' objects. It is a process of attaching and linking a sentimental chain of memories to the present through these physical entities, to stress the ethereal and ephemeral.

    In Search of Home by Vikrant Kano, video still

    Vikrant Kano lives and works in Delhi, India. He completed his BFA (2016) and MFA (2018) at College of Art, Delhi. His art practice centers around the ‘‘idea of home’’ through the investigation of his family's history & archives. He explores erasure, migration, separation and human relationships with architecture and memory.

    Video Documentation:

    Short Video Summary -'Transitions and Transformations: The Constant Flux of Our Personal Structures'

    ‘Transitions and Transformations: The Constant Flux of Our Personal Structures’ Venice Symposium | Italy

    Exhibition Reviews and Information:

    Reed College website: exhibition gallery on Geraldine Ondrizek's page

    Reed Magazine: exhibition review by Amanda Waldroupe

    Women Eco Artists Dialogue: exhibition review by Jane Chin Davidson




    Emergent Art Space is a non-profit, international organization that connects and supports young artists from around the world to advance communication and understanding across cultures.

    Visit:  www.emergentartspace.org
    Contact:  emergentartspace@gmail.com




    Artists represented here are included in the 'Transitions and Transformations: the Constant Flux of Our Personal Structures' by Geraldine Ondrizek, Reed College Alumni and Associates.  The exhibit is made possible with the support of The Oregon Arts Commission, The Ford Family Foundation, Reed College, and Emergent Art Space.






    Transitions and Transformations: The Constant Flux of Our Personal Structures is included in the sixth edition of 'Personal structures', a biennial contemporary art exhibition hosted by the European Cultural Centre in Venice, Italy from April 23 – November 27, 2022.



  • ‘Generative Multilogue’ | Art ExpoChicago, April 7-10, 2022

    Emerging artists from the Middle East converge at the Art ExpoChicago

    Walking around the hundreds of booths at this year ArtExpo Chicago, where galleries from 25 countries around the world are proudly showcasing the most recent works by their artists, and trying to find a path while surrounded by the crowd in a multicolored scene worthy of an Almodovar's movie, one would run across an unexpected sign, "Generative Multilogue".  What is a 'multilogue', and what does it generate?  Inside the booth, another unusual sign stands high on the wall, "Intersection of Creativity, Dialogue and Technology".

    It is the word 'dialogue' that mostly stands out.

    Large oil paintings, small photographs, an intriguing sculpture and an NFT collection of five works, all by women, stand side by side while people at the booth meet, connect, and engage in animated conversations.

    The Generative Multilogue booth, April 8-9, 2022

    The unusual event has been put together by Narimon Safavi, an Iranian American art promoter, who believes in the possibility of "dialogue through art".

    'Dialogue in Darkness' oil painting by Shiba Ghaderi, Iran

    Sharing the same perspective on the need to foster exchange and communication across cultural divides through the powerful language of art, Emergent Art Space was very happy to participate in  this initiative.

    In spite of enormous practical as well as ideological obstacles, Narimon and his great team (Beth Kirshenberg, Phyllis Kao, Jan Tichy, Denise Milan, among others), succeeded in engaging the active and enthusiastic participation of women from countries where the dialogue is most difficult, close to impossible, especially when addressing the condition of being a woman: Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and Palestine.

    The purpose of the project is what Narimon calls 'cultural diplomacy', creating dialogue and understanding through culture, through art. A most immediate way of communicating across borders.

    As we can read on the project website, 'Generative Multilogue' is a social enterprise at the intersection of art and technology, which aims to be a platform to support art that is about dialogue and  empathy.



    Three artists were able to travel from Iran with special Visas for this exhibition. One of them, having been rejected a Visa to the US for many years, was reunited with a son living in California after ten years of separation. Another touching moment was when we were able to meet on Zoom an artist from Afghanistan who only three weeks ago was able to flee the Taliban into Pakistan. Her identity is still not revealed.

    From the left: Judy Kharchou (Syria), Zeynab Movahed (Iran), Suha Al Attas (Saudi Arabia), Shiba Ghaderi (Iran), Jenny Rafalson (Israel)

    Emergent Art Space congratulates all the artists who exhibited their works at the 'Generative Multilogue" booth, actively participating in this very special event!  We sincerely hope that 'Generative Multilogue' will continue to bring together artists from many sides of the world in its 'cultural diplomacy' project!!

    Photo credits: Generative Multilogue and Emergent Art Space.

  • ‘Please Enjoy our Tragedies’: an exhibition by Sai [BLANK] | Yangon/London

    These are heartbreaking times with authoritarian rule and repressive violence on the rise confronting democratic governance and civilians. Some countries/cities/states/regions elicit more media attention and global support than others; yet the injustices, horrors of oppression and the suffering of people are tragically felt by all individuals, families and communities directly impacted across the world.

    Emergent Art Space believes that young artists can play a role in powerfully communicating, bearing witness, offering unique perspectives, documenting and amplifying these stories of fraught circumstances, resistance and resilient bravery. By engaging creative energies, artworks and internet platforms, artists can spread awareness across vast distances, forging interconnected systems of understanding, compassion and support.

    With these aims in mind, we are eager to share the announcement below for a vitally important exhibition in London by artist Sai   from Myanmar.

    For more on Sai's story see 'The World is Doing Nothing' in TIME magazine,  and article's about Sai’s show in Artnet news and Open Democracy.