Each year, four RDS alumni are sent for a three-month residency at IIFA (International Institute of Fine Arts in Modinagar, India), both as artists and as drawing tutors, working with the institute’s foundation-level students. For the Drawing School’s alumni this is an exciting and valuable opportunity to develop their artistic practice in a new and stimulating environment. It challenges them as drawing tutors to find ways of overcoming differences in language as well as in artistic and educational heritage to teach drawing from observation to a group of young students for whom this skill has not formed a significant part of their art education. For the students at IIFA, the residency is an opportunity to learn drawing from a group of talented young artists who have themselves been taught by the Drawing School’s distinguished faculty of practicing artists and who have developed their own teaching skills as tutors to the children attending the School’s Royal Drawing Clubs. This unique international educational partnership expresses the determination of both organisations to provide a rich mix of opportunities for their students.
I was selected along with Christabel Forbes, Tyga Helme and Matthew Cunningham. Over the three months we travelled, lived, worked and taught together and it was wonderful.
The four of us ended up teaching the whole art school; foundation, painters, applied arts and fashion trying to invigorate their practice with new ideas and techniques.
We also spent some time at Sanskriti Kendra in New Delhi. This is an artist residency with live/work studios and we exhibited our work there at the end.
Here are some of the pictorial highlights of the residency: