© 2019 by Olivia Dryden

Helpmann Academy Artist Residency at Sanskriti Kendra, India

The 6 weeks I spent at Sankriti Kendra were probably some of the best weeks of my life so far. The life long friendships, business contacts and experiences are some money can not buy. 

The other two artists that traveled from Adelaide were Arlon Hall, a painter from Uni SA School of Art, Architecture and Design and Bekki Klix, a printmaker from Adelaide College of the Arts.

Over the 6 weeks we were forutnate enough to partake in a variety of workshops:3 Day Enameling workshop with Artist/ Jeweller, Veenu Shah3 Day wood carving work shop with artisan, Jayant Gajera3 Day Pottery/ wheel throwing with Jamnalal Kumhar2 Day Madhubani work shop with National Award winner 2 Day Sanjhi workshop 1 Day with Enamelist & National Award winner Kamal Kumar Meenakar


The Forbidden Forest:After asking the Managers/Workers of Sanskriti for days I finally got the "OK" for a group of us to adventure out to the 'Forbidden Forest' which is located behind the grounds. There were six of us who ventured into the forest with two ground keepers to protect us from the wild animals and homeless people that roam the land. Although is was a 40 degree day, it was an awesome experience and was so much fun! I collected a whole bag of bones, mainly wild dog, cow and goat bones, along with some broken pottery and interesting rocks.  The following days were spent, scrubbing off the remaining dried flesh and dirt. I then soaked them in a mix of water and hydrogen peroxide to bleach the bones to a crisp white. I proceeded to make moulds of some of the bones & teeth and made an instalation outside our front door which also included rocks, barbwire and shrubbery.

A day to remember:On Wednesday the 4th of November, I was honored with being  K.K Sharma, the Museums Curator's guest for the day. I had exclusive accsess to the library and was invited to lunch with a New York fashion stylist and writer and Mr Sharma. After Lunch, Mr Sharma took me on an exclusive tour of the National Museum of Natural History, where I was lucky enough to work with the museum's Taxidermist, Amar Nath Saha. While asking as many questions as i could think of, the Director of the museum, B.Venugopal had called and requested to meet me. This day was such a highlight for me, and when I return to Delhi, I will definetly be making another trip the these museums.






The Helpmann Academy’s 2015 six-week India residency to Sanskriti Kendra will take place from 28 September - 6 November 2015.

The artists travelling to Sanskriti Kenrda

in September are;

Olivia Dryden - Adelaide College of the Arts 

Arlon Hall - Uni SA School of Art, Architecture and Design 

Bekki Klix - Adelaide College of the Arts


 Each year, the Helpmann Academy send emerging South Australian artists to participate in a six-week residency program in India – a residential retreat on the outskirts of New Delhi offering artists from diverse cultures the opportunity to reflect, interact and create.

The residency program offers artists total immersion in Indian culture in an environment that supports and encourages their artistic practice. Artists from around the world coexist with Indian artisans and contemporary Indian artists in an environment that aims to enrich and strengthen the bonds of shared cultural experiences and to encourage the fruition of individual creative endeavour. Sanskriti’s studio facilities are suited to printmakers, ceramicists and sculptors, two-dimensional artists and jewellers.

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