Kirthi Jayakumar

Kirthi Jayakumar (born 15 December 1987) is an Indian women’s rights activist, a social entrepreneur, a peace activist, artist, lawyer and writer. She is a Commonwealth Scholar, a Vital Voices (VV) Lead Fellow, a VV Engage Fellow, a Local Pathways Fellow, and a World Pulse Impact Leader. Kirthi is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

She founded The Red Elephant Foundation, an initiative built on storytelling, civilian peace-building and activism for gender equality. She also founded The Gender Security Project, an initiative aimed at expanding the global understanding of gender at the policy, legal, and institutional levels. She is the author of Stories of Hope, a collection of short stories; The Dove’s Lament, also a collection of short stories and Doodlers of Dimashq – A Heart Wrenching Tale of Hope From Syria’s Rubble. She received the US Presidential Services Medal in 2011 and two United Nations’ Online Volunteering Awards in 2012 and 2013.



Kirthi was born as Kirthi Jayakumar in Bangalore, India, to Hindu parents. She studied Law at the School of Excellence in Law, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

She earned her MA in Sustainable Peace in a Contemporary World from UPeaceCosta Rica, and an MA in Peace and conflict studies from the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Security at Coventry University, on a Commonwealth Scholarship. She has worked as a UN Online Volunteer.

Gender-based violence advocacy and peace activism

Kirthi is an activist on women’s rights issues and peace and conflict. She runs The Red Elephant Foundation. She has worked in voluntary capacities with “16 civil societies and UN agencies” through the UN Online Volunteering program. She is a columnist for the Deccan Chronicle/Asian Age.

Kirthi is a Global Youth Ambassador with A World at School run by Sarah Brown.[11][12]

Kirthi coded and created Saahas, a mobile app that supports survivors of gender-based violence world over to find support, and that facilitates active bystander intervention. Saahas was listed on the Global Innovation Exchange. The app received recognition from DEF India under the SM4E Awards. For her work with Saahas, Kirthi was listed on the shortlist for the WATC 100 Women in Tech List. Saahas supports access to information and helplines through a mobile app, Facebook Chatbot, and Telegram Chatbot.

In 2013, Kirthi founded her own initiative, The Red Elephant Foundation. She produced two e-Books on entrepreneurship in Africa with the AAE and headed a team that worked for the opening of the first ever school in Okoijorogu, Nigeria, a village that had never had a school for its children until 2013.


Kirthi is an artist, working on pen and ink to curate “Zen doodles.” She uses doodling as a means to express her activism for gender equality and peace education.

She runs an Instagram based project called Femcyclopaedia where she doodles portraits of inspiring women through the ages and from across the world and curates their stories under these portraits. The story of Femcyclopaedia won a Story Award from World Pulse in February 2017.

Kirthi curated an exhibit for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month at the US Consulate General in Chennai as part of Femcyclopaedia.


Stories of Hope is Kirthi’s first solo book, comprising a collection of short stories. She co-authored a book titled Love Me Mama: The Unfavoured Child, along with Elsie Ijorogu-Reed, the founder of Delta Women NGO. She is also the author of The Dove’s Lament, published by Readomania. The book was nominated for the Muse India Young Author’s Award in 2015. A review by Femina of The Dove’s Lament suggests that, “Kirthi embroiders a tapestry of unvanquished human spirit in words.”

The Times of India reviewed The Dove’s Lament, with its critic opining that “…The Dove’s Lament takes the reader to several such places with a compassion that shakes you to your very core.”


Kirthi wrote a play, Frankly Speaking, which, essentially starts off from where The Diary of Anne Frank ends. The play channels the voices of eight young women from conflict zones in different parts of the world, and is interspersed with passages from The Diary of Anne Frank.

She also wrote and acted in HerStory, which brings twelve women from history alive through poetry, performed through contemporary dance in sync with spoken word poetry. Kirthi wrote a monologue and performed it as part of Dolls, by Crea-Shakthi.

Kirthi also lent her voice to the audiobook version of “Like A Girl” by Aparna Jain, where she narrated the stories of Justice Leila SethMayawatiJayalalithaaDipa Karmakar, Shah Bano Begum, Tessy Thomas, and Gauri Sawant.

Awards and recognition

Kirthi is the recipient of the United States Presidential Service Award from US Consul General Jennifer McIntyre. She won the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. She received two United Nations Online Volunteering Awards, in 2012 and 2013, for her work with Delta Women and the Association for African Entrepreneurs.

In 2015, Kirthi was nominated for the Digital Women Awards 2015, presented by She The People TV.[

In March 2016, she was one of the EU top 200 Women in the World of Development Wall of Fame. She was also one of the nominated changemakers for the United State of Women 2016. She is a two-time story award winner with World Pulse, and her work has been picked up and published by Time Magazine.

Kirthi has been acknowledged by India Today as one of the “Game changers” in the city of Chennai, “who are transforming the city with inspiring thought and hard work.”

She was the youngest speaker to address a gathering at FICCI FLO, Chennai.

In September 2016, Kirthi was a shortlistee for the Rising Stars Award 2016 by We are the City India, which she went onto win. In October 2016, she was recognized as one of the “52 Feminists” by

In October 2016, Kirthi was recognized as a Burgundy Achiever at the Digital Women Awards 2016, presented by She The People TV. She received the Peace Award from the Global Peace Initiative in November 2016. She was selected as an Impact Leader at World Pulse in November 2016. She won the Orange Flower Award for Video Blogging, awarded by Women’s Web. Kirthi was featured in Sarah Brown‘s Better Angels Podcast alongside UN Secretary General Antonio GuterresHarriet Lamb, and Jakaya Kikwete.

Kirthi was featured on Google’s WomenWill Landing page on International Women’s Day, 2017, as part of a five-women-stories feature by World Pulse. She was declared as one of “eleven of India’s feminist bloggers who are making a difference to women’s lives” by Women’s Web. She was featured on Show of Force: Social Good. She was awarded Outstanding Social Entrepreneur (NGO) of the Year, by FICCI FLO Chennai (2018) Kirthi received the Heroes of Chennai Award in the Social Good category in November 2018. She also served as a member of the youth council as part of the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education). She was nominated for the Better India’s COVID Soldiers award in September 2020, and the We are the City TechWomen100 Awards for Global Achievement.

List of awards received

  • US Presidential Services Medal (Gold, Silver and Bronze) 2011–2012
  • UN Online Volunteer of the Year Award (Delta Women) 2012
  • UN Online Volunteer of the Year Award (Association of African Entrepreneurs) 2012
  • UN Online Volunteer of the Year Award (Delta Women) 2013
  • UN Online Volunteer of the Year Award (Association of African Entrepreneurs) 2013
  • Finalist, Muse IndiaYoung Author’s Award in 2015
  • Rising Stars of India Award (We Are The City India) 2016
  • The Peace Award (Global Peace Initiative) 2016
  • Orange Flower Award for Video Blogging, Orange Flower Awards, (Women’s Web), 2016
  • Local Pathways Fellow (UN SDSN), 2017
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year, 2017 (Brew Magazine)
  • Young Achiever (Entrepreneurship) MOP Yuva Samman (2017–2018)
  • Outstanding Social Entrepreneur (NGO) of the Year, FICCI FLO Chennai (2018)
  • Nominee, True Honour Awards, 2018
  • Outstanding Woman Achiever Award 2018, FICCI FLO, Jaipur (2018)
  • Vital Voices VV Engage Fellow (2018)
  • Heroes of Chennai – Social Good (Rising) (2018)
  • HerStory Woman on a Mission Award (March 2019)
  • Web Wonder Woman (Ministry of Women and Child Development, Twitter India and Breakthrough India) (March 2019)
  • CII-IWN Award for Unsung Heroes, March 2019
  • Best Feminist Voice, The Lifestyle Journal Awards, August 2019
  • The TIAW World of a Difference Award, October 2020



  • Game Changers: Untold Stories Of Indian Feminists From The Past And The Present(Hay House India, 2020)
  • The Doodler of Dimashq(Readomania, 2017)
  • The Dove’s Lament(Readomania, 2015)
  • Stories of Hope(Maitreya, 2013)


  • Mother of the Nations(Demeter Press, Contributor, 2015)
  • Routledge Handbook of South Asian Criminology(Routledge, Contributor, 2019)

Arpita Singh

Arpita Singh (born Arpita Dutta, 1937) is an Indian artist. She was born in 1937 at Baranagar in KolkataWest Bengal, India). Known to be a figurative artist and a modernist, her canvases have both a story line and a carnival of images arranged in a curiously subversive manner. Her artistic approach can be described as an expedition without destination. Her work reflects her background. She brings her inner vision of emotions to the art inspired by her own background and what she sees around the society that mainly affects women. Her works also include traditional Indian art forms and aesthetics, like miniaturist painting and different forms of folk art, employing them in her work regularly.


Personal life

Arpita left Kolkata with her mother and brother in 1946, a year before India got its independence from the British rule. In 1962, she married fellow artist Paramjit Singh and they had a daughter, artist Anjum Singh. Currently she lives in Nizamuddin EastNew Delhi.


Arpita attended the Delhi Polytechnic in New Delhi from 1954–59 and graduated with a Diploma in Fine Arts.


After her graduation, Arpita Singh worked at the Weavers Service Centre, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India in New Delhi and experienced the textiles industry closely. Her stint as a textile designer reflects in her work. The Talwar Gallery showcased her works in their first ever exhibition, ‘Tying Down’, dedicated to Arpita Singh in 2017.

She took on a job with the Cottage Industries Restoration Program, a body of the Government of India. While she worked in the program, she met traditional artists and weavers of India. This is said to have impacted her artwork too.

Arpita Singh has significant contributions through a different social and political awareness. She was a founder member of the artists’ group ‘The Unknown’, along with other alumni of the Department of Fine Arts of Delhi Polytechnic in the 1960s. The first group show of ‘The Unknown’ was held at IENS Building (now INS Building) at Rafi Marg, New Delhi in 1962.

First Exhibition

Arpita Singh’s first exhibition was held at Kunika Chemould Gallery, organised by Roshan Alkazi, New Delhi in 1972.

Exhibitions Thereafter

Post 1972, Arpita Singh extensively showed her work at Royal Academy of Arts at London (1982), the Centre Georges Pompiduo, Paris (1986), show in Geneva (1987) and at the Art Gallery of New South Wales Sydney (1993). She has also participated in the 3rd and 4th Trienniale of New Delhi & at the Havana Biennial in 1987 and the Indo-Greek Cultural Exhibition, in Greece, 1984.

More recently, her works have been exhibited at ‘Modern and Contemporary Indian Art’ at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2006; ‘Progressive to Altermodern: 62 Years of Indian Modern Art’ at Grosvenor Gallery, London, 2009; ‘Kalpana: Figurative Art in India’ presented by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at Aicon Gallery, London, 2009; ‘The Root of Everything’ at Gallery Mementos, Bangalore, 2009.

Her recent and select solo exhibitions include Work on Paper at Vadehra Art Gallery, 2016.



Arpita Singh has exhibited all over the world, at both individual and group exhibits. She has also won a number of awards for her work. Those include:

2014: Fellowship of Lalit Kala Akademi2011: Padma Bhushan 1998-1999: Kalidas Samman, Bhopal 1991: Parishad Samman, Sahitya Kala ParishadNew Delhi



2018: Arpita Singh: Tying down time, Talwar Gallery 

Sudarsan Pattnaik

Sudarsan Pattnaik (born 15 April 1977) is an Indian sand artist from Odisha. He was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 2014.


Early life and background

Sudarsan Pattnaik was born in a poor family in Marchikote Lane, Puri district, Odisha, in 1977.Sudarshan Pattnaik was creative from very young age. He has a world record for making world’ largest sand castle in Puri beach , Odisha


Sudarsan has represented India in 60 international sand sculpture championships and festivals all around the world and won 27 championship prizes for the country. He was among the 15 top sand artists selected from across the world to participate in the 2019 Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2016 & 2017, he has won gold medal in Russia and in 2016, he got People’s Choice Prize in Bulgaria. In 2013, he won 1st prize (Gold Medal) at Saint Petersburg in 12th International Sand Sculpture Competition at Russia, Danish Grand Prizes at International Sand Competition Championship, Denmark and won Moscow Museum Prize at Russia. In 2011, he won 1st Prize and Public Prize at Denmark and also won Double Gold Medal at Solo International Sand Art Contest at Mervala in 2012. In 2010, he won the gold medal for People’s Choice Award at 3rd Moscow World Sand Sculpture Championship. He also won Three Medals in North American Solo Sand Sculpture Championship, People’s Choice Prize in Canada and Moscow, Russia. In 2009 he won the Korea Sand Sculpture Award. In 2008, he won the World Champion Title at USF World Sand Sculpture Championship, Berlin. Apart from this he is the 5 times winner of People’s Choice Award at Germany,

He has also bagged various national award like National Youth Award (2004–05), National Tourism Award (2005–06), People of the Year Award by Limca Book in 2009 and Young Indian Leadership Award by CNN IBN in 2010; He has been felicitated by Her Excellency President of India Smt. Pratibha Devi Singh Patil during her visit to Puri. His art performance was also appreciated by honorable dignitaries, such as the President of India, the Prime minister of India, Speaker of Lok Sabha and the Governor of State. He also got Honorary Doctorate from Berhampur UniversityOdisha in 2012, following by this year he set a Guinness World Record for creating World’s Tallest Sand Castle. In 2014 he was honoured Padma Shri By Govt of India.

Apart from these, he is creating social awareness in national and international arena on world peace, global warming, terrorism, HIV AIDS, to save endangered wildlife species through his sand art for which he is always covered in global media. His works on the promotion of Indian Tourism in Global Forum through his talent of art in different countries like BelgiumUnited States, the NetherlandsLondon etc. is highly recommendable.

International awards and achievements

  • United Kingdom: Exhibited during the World Travel Market held at Earls CourtLondonin November 1998 with support of Govt. Of India, along with Tourist Office, London.
  • United Kingdom: Exhibited during the World Cup Cricket ’99 held at Edgbaston, United Kingdom during May–June 1999.
  • France: World Sand Sculpturing Championship at France in 2000.
  • China: International Sand Sculpturing Championship in 2000 at China.
  • United Kingdom: International Sand Sculpturing Festival in 2000 at Glasgow.
  • Singapore: Participated in Santosa Sandstation in 2001, 3 June “Splendors of Golden Asia” at Singapore.
  • Denmark: International Sand’s Sculpture’s Festival 2001 in Blokhuson 25 June 2001.
  • Italy: 3rd Prize in World’s Master Sand Sculpture’s Championship 2001 on 16 July 2001 at Italy.
  • Netherlands: Singles International Sand Sculpting Competition at Scheveningenon 6 May 2001 & 6 May 2002.
  • Japan: Champion Medal in “29th International Snow Statue Contest – 2002” at Sapporo, Japan.
  • Belgium: Sand Sculpture Festival at Blankenberge, Belgium in June’2002.
  • China: The 1st China Ningxia Sand Lake International Sand Sculpture Event on 3 to 10 Aug 2002.
  • Netherlands : The Dutch Sand Sculpture Festival Thorn in 2002–03 in July.
  • China : The 3rd Luilang Colour Sand Festival Demonstration Prize at China in 2003.
  • China: 4th Prize at China International Sand Sculpture Competition in 2003.
  • Spain: 2nd Prize in International Sand Sculpture Championship at Valadoli, Spain in 2003.
  • Germany: 3rd Prize at Berlin International Sand Sculpture Championship at Germany in 2003.
  • Germany : Participated at Sand World Festival at Travemunda at Germany in 2003–04.
  • Oman: Sand Sculpture Demonstration at Muscat Festival at Oman in 2004.
  • Germany : Public Prize at 2nd Berlin Sand Station Competition in 2004.
  • Australia: Participated at Sand Sculpting Australia at Melbourne in 2004.
  • Germany: 1st Prize at 3rd Berlin International Sand Sculpture Competition in 2005.
  • United States: Participated in Houston International Festival at Houston, Texas in 2005. ” TAJ MAHAL recreated in sand “.
  • Qatar: Demonstrating on 15th Asian Games at Doha, Qatar in 2006.
  • Canada: Representing India on the Tournament of World Championship of Sand Sculpture in 2006.
  • Japan: Represented India at 34th Sapporo Snow Sculpture Festival in 2007.
  • UAE: Demonstrating Sand Sculpture at International Student’s Conference, Abu Dhabi in 2007.
  • Malaysia: Representing India in 1st International Sand Sculpture Festival, Malaysia in 2007.
  • Turkey: Represented India at 1st Istanbul International Sand Sculpture Festival in 2007.
  • Germany: Public Prize at 5th Berlin International Sand Sculpture/Festival in 2007.
  • Germany: Audience Prize at 1st International Sand Sculpture Festival at Ruhr, Germany in 2007.
  • Japan: Represented India at Tottori Sand Museum in 2008.
  • Moscow: People’s Choice Prize at 1st International Sand Sculpture Festival, Moscow, Russia in 2008.
  • Berlin: 1st Prize at USF World Championship, Berlin, Germany and got the title of World Champion in 2008.
  • Japan: Participated in World Sand Art Festival.
  • Moscow: Special Prize at World Sand Sculpture Championship, by Russia Government in 2009.
  • South Korea : Korea Sand Sculptor Award at 4th Haeundae Sand Festival at Busanin 2009.
  • Berlin: People’s Choice Prize at 2nd USF World Championship, Berlin, Germany in 2009.
  • United States: Won three medals in North American Solo Sand Sculpture Championship in 2010.
  • Russia: People Choice Prize at 2nd Moscow World Sand Sculpture Championship in 2010.
  • Berlin: He got 1st Place in People’s Choice at 8th International Berlin Sand Sculpture Championship in 2010. (This is the 5th time winning people’s choice prize.)
  • Canada: People’s Choice Prize at CNE International Sand Sculpture Championship in 2010.
  • Russia: Gold Medal for People’s Choice at 3rd Moscow World Sand Sculpture Championship in 2011.
  • Denmark: Won 1st Prize at Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Championship in 2012.
  • Spain: Won Double Gold Medal at Solo International Sand Art Contest at Mervala in 2012. One for the People Choice and another for Most Positive Sculpture.
  • Denmark: Won Public Prize at Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Championship in 2012.
  • United States: Participated in World Sand Sculpting Championship in 2013 at Atlanta City, USA.
  • Denmark: Won the Danish Grand Prize at 2nd Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Championship in 2013.
  • Russia: Won Moscow Museum Prize at Moscow World Sand Art Championship in 2013.
  • Russia: Won First Prize (Gold Medal) at 12th International Sand Art Competition at Saint-Petersburgin 2013.
  • United States: People’s Choice Prize in World Cup for Sand Sculpting in 2014 at Atlanta City, USA.
  • Seychelles: Participated in India Festival at Seychelles and Honoured by Govt. of Seychelles in 2015.
  • Russia: Won Gold Medal at Moscow Sand Art Championship in 2016.
  • Bulgaria: Won Gold Medal in People’s Choice at World Championship for Sand Sculpting at Russein 2016.
  • Singapore: Participated in Santosa Sandsation in 2017.
  • Russia: Won Gold Medal in 10th Moscow Sand Sculpture Championship in 2017.
  • United States: Won People’s Choice Award at a Prestigious Sand Sculpting Festival on 28 July 2019 at Boston International Sand Art Championship.
  • Italy: First Indian to win the Italian Sand Art Award, 2019, at the International Scorrano Sand Nativity event held in Lecce, Italy from 13 to 17 November.

Awards and achievements

  • He was awarded Padma Shriby Government of India, the Fourth Highest Civilian Award in India, in 2014 for his contribution in Sand Arts.
  • Honorary Doctorate” by Berhampur University, Odisha in 2012.
  • “Godavari Award” by Kusumagraj Pratisthan at NasikMaharashtrain 2012.
  • Felicitated and Awarded by the Hon’ble President of India  Pratibha Devi Singh Patilat Puri Beach in Odisha.
  • Young Indian Leadership Award in 2010 by CNN IBN.
  • “People of the Year 2009” Limca Book of World Records honoured as on the occasion of 20th Edition of Limca Book.
  • “Sarala Award” by the Odisha State Government for the year 2008.
  • 5 times Limca Book of World Records.
  • “Limca World Book of Records” honoured as India Extraordinary for Sand Sculpture on the Occasion of the Celebration of sixty years of India’s Independence on 25 September 2007, in New York.
  • “National Tourism Award 2005–06” for most Innovative Tourism Project by Ministry of Tourism of India.
  • “Excellency Award 2006” held in July 2006 at New Delhi by The Sulabh International and The Society of Sri Lanka Justice of the Peace Human Rights Organization.
  • “National Youth Award 2004–2005” organised by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India at PatnaBihar.
  • “Bharat Jyoti Award 2001” At Kolkata. (Front for National Progress)
  • “Award of Excellence” by State Bank of India, Bhubaneswar Circle.
  • People’s Choice Award at Sand Sculpting World Cup 2014 at Atlantic CityUS.
  • His Santa Claus Sculpture took place in Limca Book of World Recordswhich he sculptured on 24 December 2015.

Special activities

  • Providing training to artists through open air Sudarsan Sand Art Institute at Puri.
  • He started this in 1994 with a view to make these students learn and develop sand art as a professional art form. Students from India and abroad are enrolled for projects, regular and short term courses. His objective is to create professional artists through regular curriculum in this School of Art and Culture in a Gurukul
  • Published a book regarding Sand Art.
  • Conducted training and workshops and demonstrated the art form in different Fair and Festivals in and around the countries to promote and popularise this art.
  • Created World Record in Sand Sculpture at PuriBeach in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 which was placed in Limca Book of World Records.
  • Sand Animation Show at the opening ceremony of Common Wealth Games 2010 at New Delhi.
  • of Culture, Govt. of Odisha appoint as Government Nominee (Executive Member) of Odisha Lalita Kala Academy.
  • Brand Ambassador for National Aluminum Company Limited (NALCO).
  • Brand Ambassador for International Sand Art Festival of Odisha.

Sekar Ayyanthole

Sekar Ayyanthole is a painter, art teacher and former president of Kerala Chithrakala Parishath



Born in Ayyanthole, ThrissurKeralaSouth India in 1954.


Diploma in drawing and painting GOI (Govt. Occupational Institute – now College of Fine Arts, Thrissur 1975.


Worked in Govt. Occupational Institute, Thrissur as Art Instructor in 1976 for less than a year. Worked in Kerala Govt. Education Department as Art Teacher from 1978 to 2006.

Painting Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

GOI Thrissur 1983, Edathanattukara, PGT 1987. Ernakulam 1989. “Aa-96” Calicut 1996. Except 1989 all above are sponsored by KLK Academy. “Ayyanthole -99” at Chithram Art Gallery Cochin 1999, “6th Solo” at KLK Academy Gallery, Cochin 2002, 7th Solo “Bikanir” at Thrissur 2006, 8th Solo “Iriyannni” at Chitrakala Parishat Gallery, Bangalore 2007.

Group Shows

“Dhanu – 53” Thrissur 1977. “Kalamela” New Delhi through KLK Academy at the time of Third Triannale 1978. Twenty KLK Academy Annual Exhibitions since 1975. All Chithram Gallery Annual Exhibitions since 1995. “Impasto-Twelve”an exhibition of eminent artists Yusuf Arakkal, Akkitham Narayanan etc. at Chithram Gallery 1996 “Inside of Outside” Inaugural Exhibition Synagogue Art Gallery Mattancherry 1998.”41st National Exhibition by “Lalithkala Academy New Delhi 1999. National Exhibition by KCP at Kerala House New Delhi 2000. “KCP National 2001” Exhibition by KCP at Venkatappa Gallery Bangalore 2001. Participated in 46th National Exhibition in 2004 at Cochi, by Lalithakala Academy, New Delhi.

Painting Camps

KCP Camp at Thrissur 1976. State Artists Camp at Neyyar by KLK Academy 1977. “Folk Art Camp” at Thrissur by KLK Academy in 1978. KLK Academy Camp at Ottappalam 1979. KLK Academy State Camp at Calicut 1984.,Thrissur 1988. Artists Camp at Peringode by Art Club 1991. ” Painting for Communal Harmony” with M. F. Husain 1992. Kozhikode Camp by KCP (Universal Arts) 1994. National Artists Camp “Utharayanam” by Art Club Peringode in 1994. Convener of “TVBN Varnamelam” National Artists Camp by KCP at Kumaranellur 1995. “Chithrakam” at Mukkuthala Malappuram by KCP 1995. National Artists Camp at Kasaragode by KLK Academy 1995. State Artists Shadow Camp by KLK Academy at Kila- Thrissur 1997. Artists Camp at Azheekal by KCP 1997.“ Theerakazhchakal ”at Alappuzha 1997. Neyyar Dam Camp by KCP 1999. All “Prakruthi”Annual State Camps by KCP since 1995. “Brush out AIDS” Cochin by KLK Academy 2002.“Nirakkoottam” Dist. Camp KLK Academy at Lakkidi as Camp Director 2003.“Kalakumbh” Senior Artists Camp Bikanir – Rajasthan, Organized by AIFACS and Rajasthan Lalithakala Academy, 2003. “Varnam” National Artists Camp Organized by Pondicherry Cultural Department at Mahi in 2004.


Honorable mention by KLK Academy for Painting “Anakkara” 1978. Cash Award by Kerala Chithrakala Parishath for “Omana” 1982. KCP Award by Kerala Chithrakala Parishath for “ Omana-9 ” 1983. Honorable mention by KLK Academy for “ Golden Temple ” 1984. Samskarikakendram National Award for Drawing “Bull Festival” 1989. 2014 honourable mention for visual arts by Kerala Lalithakala Akademi 

Special events

Conducted “Kalayathra” as KCP State Secretary – All Kerala Artists Tour and on the spot Painting 1997. Hon. Governor of Kerala Sri. Sukh Dev Singh Kang Visited “ KCP National 2000 ” and invited all painters to Rajbhavan for a friendly talk on paintings. Hon. Governor bought the painting “Vishu” and is now on display at Rajbhavan, Trivandrum.


Wife: Omana C K

Sons: Jinan Sekhar, Dhanan Sekhar Edathara

S. Jithesh

  1. Jithesh, popularly known as Jitheshji, is a speed cartoonistand former Vice-Chairman of Kerala Cartoon Academy. He has initiated and popularised “Super-Speedy Cartooning” through his infotainmentcartoon stage shows named Varayarangu. His infotainment art form, Varayarangu, is a blend of poetry, anecdotes, and socio-political satire with high speed drawing. Sketching of more than thousand celebrity caricatures at a quick pace and satirical commentary is the major attraction of his cartoon stage shows. He is recognised as the “World’s Fastest Performing Cartoonist” since his ability to speed sketch fifty celebrity caricatures within five minutes.

He has conducted more than 7000 speed cartoon stage shows across India and abroad As a Performing Cartoonist he is known for his lightning sketches and pictorial speech on stage. He was the editor-in-chief of Chiricheppu Cartoon monthly. Jithesh’s interests are not limited to cartooning alone since he has also published his own collections of poems in Malayalam.


Personal life

He was born on 30 December 1974 at Pandalam in Pathanamthitta District as the son of K. N. Somasekharan Nair and M. Remani Amma  He graduated with a LL.B degree and an M.A in English Literature. He is married to Unnimaya and father of two children.

Published works

  • Nakshathrangale Pranayicha Oraal
  • Kuttikkavitthakalum Cartoon Padanavum
  • Cartoon-Caricature Varakkaan Padikkan

Reena Saini Kallat

Reena Saini Kallat (born 1973) is an Indian visual artist. She currently lives and works in Mumbai.


Early life

Kallat was born in 1973 in Delhi, India. She graduated from Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art in 1996 with a B.F.A. in painting. Her practice spanning drawingphotographysculpture and video engages diverse materials, imbued with conceptual underpinnings. She is interested in the role that memory plays, in not only what we choose to remember but also how we think of the past. Using the motif of the rubberstamp both as object and imprint, signifying the bureaucratic apparatus, Kallat has worked with officially recorded or registered names of people, objects, and monuments that are lost or have disappeared without a trace, only to get listed as anonymous and forgotten statistics. In her works made with electrical cables, wires usually serving as conduits of contact that transmit ideas and information, become painstakingly woven entanglements that morph into barbed wires like barriers. Her ongoing series using salt as a medium explores the tenuous yet intrinsic relationship between the body and the oceans, highlighting the fragility and unpredictability of existence


She has widely exhibited across the world in venues such as Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Kennedy Centre, Washington; Vancouver Art Gallery; Saatchi Gallery, London; SESC Pompeia and SESC Belenzino in Sao Paulo; Goteborgs Konsthall, Sweden; Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; Casa Asia, Madrid and Barcelona; ZKM Karlsruhe in Germany; Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney; Hangar Bicocca, Milan; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; IVAM Museum, Spain; Busan MOMA; Kulturhuset, Stockholm; Kunsthaus Langenthal, Switzerland; Chicago Cultural Centre amongst many others. She lives and works in Mumbai.

Select solo exhibitions

  • Orchard of Home-grown Secrets, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai and Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (1998)
  • Skin, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai and Art Inc. Gallery, New Delhi (2000)
  • Seven Faces of Dust, Chicago Radio, Mumbai (2002)
  • The Battlefield Is The Mind, Sakshi Gallery, Bangalore (2002)
  • Black Flute, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai 2004
  • Black Flute(And Other Stories), Nature Morte, New Delhi (2005)
  • Rainbow Of Refuse, Bodhi Art Gallery, Mumbai (2006)
  • Subject to Change without Notice, Walsh Gallery, Chicago (2008)
  • Silt of Seasons, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai (2008)
  • Drift, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan (2009)
  • Labyrinth of Absences, Nature Morte, New Delhi (2011)
  • Anatomy of forking paths,Art Houz, Art Chennai (2014)
  • ZegnArt Public project with Dr. Bhaudaji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2013)
  • Falling Fables, part of Maximum India at the Kennedy Centre, Washington 2011
  • Offsite, Public Art Project, Vancouver Art Gallery (2015)
  • Porous Passages, Nature Morte, New Delhi
  • Hyphenated Lives, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai

Select group exhibitions

  • Varsha ’95, Y. B. Chavan Gallery, Mumbai (1995)
  • Monsoon Show, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (1996)
  • Fresh Work, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Mumbai (1997)
  • Essays in Time, Kinetic Sculptures, Nehru Centre, Mumbai (1998)
  • Edge of the Century, Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, New Delhi (1999)
  • AOM- Art on the move, New Delhi (2001)
  • Big River 2, CCA7 Gallery, Port Of Spain, Trinidad (2001)
  • Crossing Borders, Gallery Windkracht 13, Den Helder, Holland (2002)
  • Reclaim Our Freedom, Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (2002)
  • Crosscurrents, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (2002)
  • Contemporary Art from India, Oslo, Norway (2003)
  • Indians + Cowboys, Gallery 4A, Sydney (2003)
  • Tiranga, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (2003)
  • Hard Copy, Gallery 88, Calcutta (2003)
  • Crossing generations: diVERGENational Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai(2003)
  • Zoom! Art in Contemporary India, The Culturgest Museum, Lisbon, Portugal (2004)
  • Contemporary Art from India, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York (2004)
  • Indian Paintings of the New Millennium,Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery, Fairfield University, USA (2005)
  • Span, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (2005)
  • Mom and Pop Art, Walsh Gallery, Chicago (2005)
  • India Express – Art and Popular Culture, Art Museum Tennispalace, (2006)
  • Hungry God- Indian Contemporary Art, Arario Gallery, Beijing and Busan MoMA (2006)
  • Lille 3000(Maximum City-Mumbai), Lille, France (2006)
  • Modern Indian Works On Paper, Arthur Ross Gallery, Philadelphia and the Georgia Museum of Art, USA (2006)
  • Thermocline Of Art- New Asian WavesCenter for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany (2007)
  • New Narratives: Contemporary Art From India, Chicago Cultural Centre, Chicago (2007)
  • INDIA NOW: Contemporary Indian Art, Between Continuity and transformation, Spazio Oberdan, Milan (2007)
  • Urban Manners, at Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2007)
  • Soft Power: Asian AttitudeShanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai (2007)
  • Incheon Women Artists’ BiennaleIncheonSouth Korea(2007)
  • Excavation: Memory/Myth/Membrane, Museum Gallery, Mumbai (2008)
  • Three Points of view, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinrucke, Mumbai (2008)
  • 3rd Nanjing Triennale, China (2008)
  • India Moderna, IVAM Museum, Valencia, Spain (2008)
  • Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian ArtMori Art MuseumJapan(2008)
  • Indian Narratives in the 21st Century: Between Memory and History, Casa Asia, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain (2009)
  • Low Blow: And Other Species of Confusion, Stux gallery, New York (2009)
  • INDIA XIANZAI: Contemporary Indian ArtMuseum of Contemporary Art Shanghai(2009)
  • Ventosul Biennale, Curitiba, Brazil (2009)
  • Milan Galleria, Triennale Museum, Milan (2009)
  • View Points and Viewing points– Asian Art Biennale, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2009)
  • Urban Manners 2, Contemporary Artists from India, SESC Pompeia, São Paulo, Brazil (2010)
  • The Empire Strikes BackSaatchi Gallery, London (2010)
  • In Transition: New Art from IndiaVancouver International Sculpture Biennale, Vancouver (2010)
  • RoundaboutTel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2011)
  • Pandemonium: Art in a Time of Creativity Fever, Goteborg International Biennale for Contemporary Art, (2011)
  • Maximum IndiaThe John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington (2011)
  • SamtidigtHelsinki City Art Museum, Finland] (2011)
  • India: Art NowArken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (2012)
  • JJ’s 90s – The Time of Change, Mumbai Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai] (2013)
  • Aesthetic Bind: Floating World, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai (2014)
  • The Eye and The Mind: New Interventions in Indian Art, Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing
  • Aperture, Indian Summer Festival, Old Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Vancouver
  • The Eye and The Mind: New Interventions in Indian Art, China Art Museum, Shanghai
  • A Summer Mix,Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai
  • One and one make eleven (Contemporary Art From India), Kunsthaus Langenthal, Switzerland(2015)
  • The Eye and The Mind: New Interventions in Indian Art, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China(2015)
  • [en]counters 2015, Spaces in Transition, CST Terminus, Mumbai(2015)
  • Kalaghoda Art Festival, Mumbai(2015)
  • Insecurities: tracing Displacement and Shelter, organized by Sean Anderson and Ariele Dionne-Krosnick, The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York
  • Hybridizing Earth, Discussing Multitude, 10th Busan Biennale, curated by Cheagab Yun, Kiswire Suyeong factory, Busan,South Korea >>(2016)
  • Conceiving Space, Colombo Art Biennial, curated by Alnoor Mitha, Sri Lanka(2016)
  • Make a Change, curated by Torun Ekstrand, Cultural Ronneby, Sweden(2016)
  • Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India, curated by Ratan Vaswani, CSMVS (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), Mumbai(2016)
  • The Eye and The Mind: New Interventions in Indian Art, NGMA- Jaipur House, New Delhi(2016)

Artist residencies

In 2002 Kallat was an artist-in-residence in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec at the Boreal Art and Nature Centre in Canada. In 2011 she was awarded an IASPIS residency to work and study in GothenburgSweden.


Kallat has been the recipient of a number of awards, including:

  • Gladstone Solomon Award (1995)
  • Bombay Art Society Merit Certificate (1996)
  • Second Prize Government Award, Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art(1996)
  • Harmony Award (2005)
  • YFLO ZOYA Young Women Achievers Awards 2010-11, Delhi (2011)
  • ZegnArt Public Award in collaboration with Dr. Bhaudaji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2012)
  • Zee: Indian Women Awards in Arts & Culture category, Delhi (2016)




Kallat’s work is held in the following public collections:


Ratnadeep Adivrekar

Ratnadeep Gopal Adivrerkar (born 13 November 1974 in Mumbai) is a contemporary artist from India. He has had several important solo exhibitions including one at NUS Museum, Singapore, Galerie Sylvia Bernhardt, Germany and Pavillon du Centanarie/Arcelor Mittal, Luxembourg. In 2013, Ratnadeep exhibited at the prestigious Deutsche Oper Berlin a series of works titled ‘The Golden Ear- A Tribute to Wagner’, based on German Composer Richard Wagner and mainly his epic opera “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (Ring of Nibelungs). The work revolves around Ratnadeep’s philosophical interpretation with connection to especially to Indo-Global mythological context with contemporary times. He has participated in many group exhibitions like ‘Sarang’, Seoul, Korea; Pictures of Asia, Larasati, Singapore; ‘Indian contemporary art’, Chelsea College of Arts, UK; Uneo Royal Museum, Japan; Ao~rta Project, BBK Kunst Forum, Düsseldorf and Ausstellungshalle Innenhafen, Duisburg, Germany. He has received a number of awards and scholarships. Ratnadeep lives and works in Mumbai, India and Berlin, Germany.


Early life and education

Ratnadeep Adivrekar was born in 1974 in Mumbai, India. He is the son of artist Gopal S. Adivrekar. He received his BFA in painting with first class in 1997 from the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art in Mumbai.

About work

Ratnadeep Gopal Adivrekar is an artist whose work defies easy definitions, having experimented with a wide range of styles and subject matter, bringing together metaphors from contradictory or unpredicted sources, both historical and contemporary, by using diverse materials and techniques. In fact Ratnadeep’s artistic multiplicity, and his resistance to any form of categorisation, can be seen as the consistent theme in his work. The parts of painting have naturalist approximate based on photographic documentations. When a photograph is painted on canvas, the sense of realness in the images are complicated, while they may retain a high degree of verisimilitude, the loss of its mechanical tie to a specific situation. While our eyes perceive these paintings as photography, conceptually we know they are individual interpretations. Ratnadeep has rejected mechanical processes, preferring to explore the visual effects of mechanical technology by hand. Ratnadeep’s paintings have usually used techniques which are both time-consuming and physically demanding. Buried within this elaborate surface sometimes are sheets of manipulated expressive color drips transparent enough and mark making, bringing out the rawness of improvisation. In Ratnadeep’s works the original source or elements from photographic motifs are patched together in new constellations of allegories thus the paintings have a sort of leaping structure of narratives within narratives. Ratnadeep creates works that have an open-ended narrative and evoke the idea of exploring eternal subjects like existence, death, understanding different facets of philosophy. His work refers directly to the enigma of metamorphosis and his imagery whispers to the subconscious coaxing it to the surface. Making us aware of Ratnadeep’s beliefs, the richness of his symbolism but yet mysterious eluding the logically understandable things and combine to make new resonances. He plays with the associational nature of thinking and how often a deliberate act of misunderstanding that can become poetry on canvas. Crowd scenes have become a constant feature in his work in recent years, the systematic-chaos or chaotic-system of crowds from processions and rallies to battles and concerts. The high-octane energy and movement of large gatherings is a reminder, perhaps, of the potential of the crowd or organised mass.


“Born in family of artists, I have a miniscule gap between art and life. My works are evidence of exploration, a commentary on art, contemporary life by combining images and forms to construct on human reality. Our socio-politically fragmented society is saturated with opulence of images, which signify ideas of radical modernist utopia. As an archivist of the new world, processing these images and forms has its origin based in experiences, which leads to the relationship between our sense of philosophies, self and world. I’m interested in how meaning is created. My paintings deal with subjects that carry a historical set of references, but collective memory is constantly challenged by enigmatic prophetic actions, concealed in personal folds of the temporal linearity…I believe I am an observer from distant at humanity with deliberation to miniscule details.”  – Ratnadeep Gopal Adivrekar


Ratnadeep’s desire to see everything at once is apparent in many of his paintings, perhaps most overtly in the overlay of one image on top of others, as if it were possible not just to see through a particular image but to hold them both in a sort of suspension. In these superimposed, suspended and translucent images the structure of narratives is overt. Each of the images is both there and not-there, as the eye is drawn from one to the other. Ratnadeep’s works invite the spectator to consider. His task is to reintroduce their significance into a tension with form – but without allowing the images he uses to fall into utter nostalgia. His work is to help the spectator re-evaluate the power of the static image, its ability to make reference to our histories and its power to reinvoke our thoughts and our participation through small acts of attention. 6From catalogue “Proverbial In(ter)ventions 2009”


Solo exhibitions

  • 2017 – ‘8 Stories’, Galerie Mukadam, Berlin, Germany
  • 2014 – ‘Parallax Views’, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • 2013 – ‘The Golden Ear- A Tribute to Wagner’, Seminarhaus Bayreuth, Deutsche Oper, Berlin & Kameha, Frankfurt
  • 2013 – ‘Infinite Range of Responses to Time’, Galerie Sogan & Art, Singapore
  • 2011 – Discourse of prismatic truthsat Pavillon du Centanarie/Arcelor Mittal, Luxembourg.
  • 2010 – Allegories of talking roadat Galerie Sylvia Bernhardt, Germany.
  • 2010 – Crimson Art Gallery, Bangalore.
  • 2009 – Proverbial In(ter)ventionNUSMuseum, Singapore.
  • 2004 – Refraction of ideasArtists Centre, Mumbai.
  • 2000 – Souvenirs from journeys withinsolo exhibition at Kala Academy, Panaji.
  • 1999 – Exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
  • 1998 – Memoirs of the unreal city and findings through journeys.Chavan Art Gallery, Mumbai.


  • 2017 – ‘MVUVM Award’ for Achievement in Field of Art.
  • 2003 – The Harmony Emerging Artist Award presented by the Reliance Art Foundation.
  • 2002 – The Bendre Husain Scholarship.
  • 2002 – Maharashtra State Art Award, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
  • 2001 – National Scholarship by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
  • 1999 – The Governors Prize at the Exhibition of The Bombay Art Society.
  • 1996 – Best Painting Award at The Art Society of India Exhibition.
  • 1994,96 – Merit Certificate the Exhibition of The Bombay Art Society.

Rabin Mondal

Rabin Mondal, born as Rabindra Nath Mondal, (1929 – 2 July 2019) was an Indian painter from HowrahWest Bengal. He was an Indian artist who was a founding member of the Calcutta Painters. He lived and worked in relative obscurity until retrospective exhibitions of his work in KolkataNew Delhi and Bombay brought him to India’s national attention in 2005.

Early life and family

Mondal was born in Howrah, an overcrowded urban extension of Calcutta. His family had prospered in business in the late 19th century. Rajendra Narayan Mondal (1792 to 1860), Dewan of Narayanganj in Bengal was an ancestor, and one of his sons Rajendranarayan received the title of Raja. The narrow lane where Rabin’s paternal home stands was named after his grandfather Fakirdas Mondal. But the pressures of an extended Bengali household forced the young Rabin to live with not only his brothers and sisters, but also his aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, and also his cousins. Though the Mondal family had a highly educated and upper-middle-class background, Howrah was known for its overcrowded slums and impoverished migrant workers who toiled in various grimy industries. It was an environment that caused the young Rabin to take note of the realities of life and its struggles.

Like many Indian artists of his generation, Rabin was deeply affected by the Bengal famine of 1943, the struggle for India’s independence, and the subsequent partition of his native Bengal.

In May 1976, Rabin married Bani Mitra, also an artist by profession, and 18 years younger than Rabin. The couple settled down in their Howrah residence but eventually moved to Salt Lake in 1996 when a bunch of artistes formed a co-operative society and was granted a 14-cottah plot by the then finance minister of West Bengal, Ashok Mitra. It was around this time that Bani was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away in 2000. The couple had no children.

Education and career

Rabin Mondal graduated in Commerce from Calcutta University in 1952. His first formal education in art was at the Indian College of Art and Draughtsmanship, Calcutta. He continued his artistic studies at the Asutosh Museum of Indian Art of the University of Calcutta.

In 1964 Rabin and what is now known as the “Group of Eight”, (which consisted of Nikhil Biswas, Prokash Karmakar, Bijan Chowdhury, Gopal Sanyal, Bimal Banerjee, Mahim Rudra, Gunbritt Svensson and Mondal himself) formed the Calcutta Painters. This lively group of artists worked to promote modernist art not only in Calcutta, but throughout India, becoming nationally known in the process.

Mondal worked out of his Howrah studio, churning out a series of “kings” and “queens” painted with oil on canvas. These are perhaps Mondal’s best known works, depicting tragic looking figures, seemingly suffering from paranoia and fear, yet ironically termed kings and queens. Some of the highlights of this series were the works Man Acting as King, King Being Appeased, King Making Confession, and King and his Assassin. Mondal also produced a series of “deities”, which sometimes seem to merge thematically with his “queens”. The artist’s deities are generally depicted with radiate crowns, whereas his kings and queens are not. Other favorite subjects of the artist were the brothel and the harem, which he depicted in canvases such as Event in Red Light Area and Orgy.

Though some of Mondal’s best canvases have an obvious cubist influence, stylistically his work has been predominantly expressionist, a reaction to the tormented humanity that surrounded him in Calcutta, and the tragic events of his formative years.

Rabin Mondal’s work can be found in the collections of The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, Osians Art Archive, Mumbai, The Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata, and the Jane and Kito de Boer Collection, Dubai.

Prafulla Dahanukar

Prafulla Dahanukar (1 January 1934 in Goa – 1 March 2014) was an Indian painter, a leader in modern Indian art who also helped and influenced many young artists in India.



Prafulla Dahanukar was born Prafulla Joshi in Goa and raised in Mumbai. She studied fine art at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai and graduated with a Gold Medal in 1955. She had a studio in the seminal Bulabhai Desai Institute in Mumbai and shared it with V. S. Gaitonde, joining the Indian Progressives Group or artists from 1956-1960. The Institute was filled with luminaries who transformed the art and culture scene in India. The Government of France awarded her a scholarship to study fine art in Paris in 1961.

Prafulla has served the cause of art and painting for all her life. She was a committee member of the Lalit Kala Academy in New Delhi from 1974 to 1979, and the President of Bombay Art Society for 6 years from 1993 to 1998. At present in Feb 2010 she continues to be the trustee of the Jehangir Art Gallery (for last 40 years) and committee member of Kala Academy, Goa (last for 30 years). She was also the President of the Art Society of India and the Chairperson of The Artists’ Centre, Mumbai.

Prafulla Dahanukar was one of the founder members of Sangit Kala Kendra with late Shri Aditya Birla, its President for 3 years and has continued to work on its committee for the last 30 years. She is the committee member of the Music Forum. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Indian National Theatre for the last 4 years. Besides the work for the artists, she is involved as the main trustee for last 30 years of an orphanage called Bal Anandgram in Lonavala. She has two daughters, Gauri Mehta and Gopika Dahanukar and five grandkids, Ritam Mehta, Kamakshi Kaarthikeyan, Anam Mehta, Shantala Mehta and Keshava Kaarthikeyan.


Prafulla Dahanukar painted abstract landscapes in generally one vivid and dominant color, with myriad shades and subtlety. She called her paintings “Eternal Space” as she believed that space is unending and couldn’t be destroyed.

Exhibitions and Museum Collections

She had solo exhibitions regularly from 1956. While in Paris she held an exhibition of her paintings in 1961 and has since then participated in many international exhibitions in England, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Japan, Portugal, Iceland and France. She has exhibited solo 3 times in London, the first of which was sponsored by the High Commission of India in 1978. Citibank sponsored her show in 2006 in Ardean Gallery in Cork Street, London. In India she has had several individual shows in Mumbai, DelhiCalcutta, and ChennaiBarclays Bank recently in November 2008 sponsored her exhibition in Dubai which was opened by the famous painter M.F. Husain. On completion of fifty years of her career as a painter, she was honored by the Jehangir Art Gallery which sponsored a Retrospective show of her career paintings. Prafulla’s paintings have been offered on Sotheby’s and Osean art auctions.

Prafulla used her artistic talent in creating murals in ceramic, wood and glass. These murals adorn prominent buildings in Mumbai, Pilani, Kolkata and Muscat (Oman).

Her paintings are in the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art and Lalit Kala Academy in New Delhi, the Central Museum in Nagpur, the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai, and many institutional and private collections in India and overseas.

Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation

The Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation (PDAF) was started by Dilip Dahanukar, in memory of his wife Prafulla Dahanukar. The PDAF is a unique art foundation, sponsored initially by the leading artists of India sending in a painting each, in memory of Prafulla, with the funds from sale of these paintings launching this non-profit organization, formed by artists, for artists.

PDAF has grown into one of the largest awarders of fellowships to emerging artists all over India. The foundation is working to support and provide a platform for the community of artists, so that new, young artists get visibility and patronage for their art, and senior artists can guide them through their initial years of struggle.

In 2014, the PDAF launched a new initiative, the Emerging Artist Reward Scheme, which is a contest for artists registered with the PDAF. Through this, the PDAF will give out Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards to artists at the state level and at the all-India level, across six different categories of art i.e.; Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Printmaking, Installation and Photography. The overall winners of the contest will win a sponsored solo show at a leading art gallery in Mumbai.


  • 1955: Silver Medal for her painting in the Annual Exhibition of the Bombay Art Society.

Nek Chand

Nek Chand Saini (15 December 1924 – 12 June 2015) was a self-taught Indian artist, known for building the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, an eighteen-acre sculpture garden in the city of Chandigarh.

He hailed from Shakargarh tehsil. Shakargarh was previously in Gurdaspur district in British India, but now falls in district Narowal in Pakistan). His family moved to Chandigarh in 1947 during the Partition. They moved to Chandigarh in 1955. At the time, the city was being redesigned as a modern utopia by the Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. It was to be the first planned city in India, and Chand found work there as a roads inspector for the Public Works Department in 1951. He was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 1984. He died in 2015.


The Rock Garden is one of the most famous sites in India. Chand, its creator, died in 2015, but it is still visited by millions of people every year.

In his spare time, Nek Chand began collecting materials from demolition sites around the city . He recycled these materials into his own vision of the divine kingdom of Sukrani,New Delhi choosing a gorge in a forest near Sukhna Lake for his work. The gorge had been designated as a land conservancy, a forest buffer established in 1902 that nothing could be built on. Chand’s work was illegal, but he was able to hide it for eighteen years before it was discovered by the authorities in 1975. By this time, it had grown into a 13-acre (5.3 ha) complex of interlinked courtyards, each filled with hundreds of pottery-covered concrete sculptures of dancers, musicians, and animals. Made from recycled materials, Chand built up the mass with a cement and sand mix before adding a final coating of smoothly burnished pure cement combined with waste materials such as broken glass, bangles, crockery, mosaic and iron-foundry slag.

His work was in serious danger of being demolished, but he was able to get public opinion on his side, and in 1986 the park was inaugurated as a public space. Chand was given a salary, a title (“Sub-Divisional Engineer, Rock Garden”), and a workforce of 50 labourers so that he could concentrate full-time on his work. It even appeared on an Indian stamp in 1983. The Rock Garden is still made out of recycled materials; and with the government’s help, Chand was able to set up collection centres around the city for waste, especially rags and broken ceramics.

When Chand left the country on a lecture tour in 1996, the city withdrew its funding, and vandals attacked the park. The Rock Garden Society took over the administration and upkeep of this unique visionary environment. The garden is visited by over five thousand people daily, the second most popular location in India (after the Taj Mahal) with a total of more than twelve million visitor. The rock garden is visited by thousands of people everyday. It has become the famous tourist attraction in INDIA



Chand’s statues have found their way into museums across the world, including an environment at the Capitol Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C., the American Folk Art Museum in New York City and the main entrance to the Collection de l’art brut in LausanneSwitzerland. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin, USA owns the largest collection of Chand’s work outside of Chandigarh. The pieces were on exhibition there from June 2007 to January 2008 as part of the museum’s focus on artist environment builders, or outsider artists.

An exhibition of Chand’s work also took place at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) gallery in LiverpoolEngland from 16 April to 11 May 2007. The exhibition displayed survey drawings of the garden’s architecture and landscaping, and plans to be a travelling exhibition.

Numerous Nek Chand sculptures are also displayed in the gardens and on the walkways of the campus of the American Embassy School in New Delhi.

There is a Nek Chand Foundation in London founded to raise funds for the garden.