Odisha boy Sitaram Swain bags Rs 10 L cash prize, Scottish residency

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New Delhi: At a star-studded evening here, meant to celebrate and reward extraordinary work by emerging artists, Odisha-based Sitaram Swain was awarded the sixth Glenfiddichs Emerging Artist of the Year 2017.

The Emerging Artist of the Year Award is a part of Glenfiddich’s 16-year-old Artists in Residence (AiR) programme, where winners from different countries get to spend three months at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland.

In addition to this, Sitaram Swain will be awarded Rs 10 lakh, which includes an international allowance of Rs 120,000 per month and a work allowance of Rs 500,000. He will also be awarded a solo show at Bestcollegeart.com Gallery in New Delhi.

The thirteen-member jury for the Emerging Artist of the Year Award 2017, included leading artists, gallery owners, art critics and art collectors. The jury members went through over 2500 works by 810 artists before deciding on the five finalists and then Sitaram Swain as the India winner, which was announced late on Saturday evening here.

“I am very excited to be selected as the India winner for Glenfiddich’s Artists in Residence (AiR) programme. This will be an opportunity for me to widen and explore my creative boundaries outside of my traditional work space. A once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with some great artists from around the world in the heart of the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland,” said Swain.

Sitaram Swain practices as an installation artist and his out of the box concepts are what make him stand out. Sitaram works with domestic objects like clay pots for he believes that there is a sublime quality of social relevance in day to day objects. His works are an attempt at exemplifying social issues through art.

“Our globally recognized forum Artists in Residence (AiR), launched in 2002, provides a unique and inspired platform for artists from around the world to showcase their talent and to gain international recognition. India has become a world-class centre of excellence for creativity, given the diversity and talent it houses. Through this programme, we are trying to recognize and encourage the emerging talent of India,” said the global coordinator and organiser of Glenfiddich’s AiR programme, Andy Fairgrieve, who was here to personally hand over the award to India’s emerging artist.

Glenfiddich Artists in Residence doesn’t set any parameters on what our artists can produce. Each year, a number of artists from around the world are selected to take up a residency at the distillery and invited to take inspiration from their surroundings to produce new work. It has become widely acclaimed in the art world for providing artists with an original setting, space and community in which to work.

The other artists that made it to the top contenders list included, Vandana Kothari, Mangesh Rajguru, Subhendu Mishra and Akhil Mohan.

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