Diana Campbell, Founding Director and Chief Curator of Creative India Foundation shares details of its first realized international sculpture park commission.
Mumbai: A year and a half after I first visited Wanås Konst, I am proud to see a new Indian sculpture by Srinivasa Prasad literally growing on the grounds and beginning the realization of my task to place Indian contemporary sculpture in a hundred cities around the world. Srinivasa Prasad’s work is the first Creative India Foundation co-commission at an international sculpture park, and Rathin Barman, Hemali Bhuta, and Vishal Dar’s works will follow suit in 2012 at de Cordova Sculpture Park in the US, Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the UK, and the Cass Sculpture Foundation in the UK, respectively.
I have visited sculpture parks in countries ranging from Brazil to China to the UK, and Wanås Konst in Sweden is one of my favorite open air museums because of the commitment it extends to artists (their motto is “the artist is always right”), which allows masterpieces to be created there. Roxy Paine created his first tree at Wanås, and one of Anne Hamilton’s best works is housed in an old barn on the property. When I saw the new ideas and works that were realized on the grounds (like Peter Coffin’s “Untitled (Tree Pants)”) I knew that Wanås had to be the first park that Creative India would collaborate with.
As part of my work with the foundation, I completed over 220 studio visits in India learning about contemporary sculptural practice in the country. I helped the artistic directors of the park select Srinivasa Prasad as their resident artist (ironically, he is one of the few Indian sculptors whose studio I have yet to visit – he works about eight hours from Bangalore in Sagra), and was thrilled to accompany them on part of their visit to India in January during and around the India Art Fair. Elisabeth Millqvist and Mattias Givell are amazingly forward thinking curators, and they brought their young children Flora and Vera to India and visited artists and learned about the context of the artists which they were inviting to exhibit in Sweden. This was just the start of their engagement with India. They’ve invited another Indian artist to do a site visit for next year, and they are returning to India to give art workshops to children around the country.
Srinivasa Prasad’s work, “In and Out,” is comprised of Swedish willow trees that spell his name in Kannada. The work will take about two years to grow in, and I look forward to seeing the work grow and thrive on the beautiful Swedish landscape. Sculpture parks like Wanås do not yet exist in India, and it was wonderful to walk around the grounds with Srinivasa and see his reaction to the work of other land artists like Maya Lin and Richard Nonas. Srinivasa Prasad is an artist who I follow closely, and I can’t wait to see what he creates for the upcoming Kochi biennale.
Diana Campbell is Founding Director and Chief Curator, Creative India Foundation, Hyderabad, a private foundation which advances Indian contemporary art globally and is developing India’s first international sculpture park. She is responsible for directing the foundation’s programming, selecting artists & commissioning sculptures for international sculpture parks as well as the foundation’s future park slated for 2015. Through her work with the foundation, she is a key advisor for renowned international sculpture parks such as de Cordova Sculpture Park, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wanås etc. on Indian artists for their collections. Campbell has curated sculpture projects for the India Art Fair, and SH Contemporary fair in Shanghai, and has contributed to projects at Frieze New York, Frieze London and Art Hong Kong. She is also is the co-curator for the Mumbai City Pavilion for the 9th Shanghai Biennale. Campbell also advises real estate developers on their public art programs in India. Prior to moving to India in 2010, Campbell curated exhibitions independently at prestigious galleries such as Marlborough Gallery, and worked at Sotheby’s New York and the Neue Galerie. Campbell is a Princeton and Independent Curators International (ICI) alumna, and speaks Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish.