Arshi Sayed is a Mumbai based Artist with a background in the field of Advertising and Visual Communication. As someone who looks up to the likes of Marlene Dumas, Egon Schiele, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jenny Saville, her oeuvre consists of acrylic based portraiture. It consistently explores themes of love, loss and existentialism. She strives to curate a bold portfolio, emphasising the weight and intimacy of the subject matter.
You will find an exploration of the multifaceted field of abstract expressionism through symbolic juxtaposition of static layers against movements and sound. Over time, she intends to present her work as a reflection of herself, inviting the viewer to take them through a multi-sensory thought process.
"It is quite rare to find a place that celebrates an artist’s safe space the way ikattha does. Becoming a part of this family has enabled me to expand my artistic practice. Through conversations and community gatherings, ikattha opens up the platform to experiment with methods and mediums, while also encouraging and empowering me to contribute my skills to those around."
illesha is an interdisciplinary artist, and founder of ikattha. Her studio practice explores geographies - landscapes, loves, the lives of city birds. She is shifting her practice to make room for others, and facilitates independent formats for artists to make, play, perform, collaborate, publish and exhibit in Mumbai. Tired of the institutional powers that govern the spaces of art showing and art making in the city, she is interested to create spaces for collectivity, where we question and are questioned.
"We want to create affordable studio space in a neighborhood that is notorious for alienating emerging, independent young artists. For me, as one of those artists, you can go to galleries and talk to people - but you never quite feel like you have a foot in the door. You think: Am I in? How do I get in? How do I become part of this thing?
We wanted to create an alternative here where people walk in and then feel like they belong. We want them to know their involvement is important in this space.
There can be so much abundance when we come together with what we have and try to do something together. Your practice is not just what you sit and make - a drawing or a photograph or film. Your practice is really how you put your work out there, who you share it with, who you're talking to, who you're working with, who you work alongside and how you're able to evolve.
The idea is for all the work we do here to be generative. In some ways, the space incidental. The important thing is that we are all here together, doing this thing we do."
Kashin is an artist born in Bombay, India in 1997. Through her work she questions the relationships between herself and others, reflecting on the different versions of ourselves that we curate for different interactions. Nail-biting is Kashin’s coping mechanism for social anxiety. In her recent work, the finger form plays a vital role in characterizing vulnerability and insecurity. The personified fingers morph into creatures representing her or the people that surround her. Kashin’s art practice is influenced by personal experiences, however, it covers society and its demanding nature as a whole. Although her use of medium varies, she leans towards drawing as a technique. Her work indicates prominent use of linear and tonal qualities while highlighting drawing as an automatic method of expression.
"On the last floor of an old building in the narrow Colaba lanes is a space called ikattha and it has no corners. It is a space as open as a field yet challenging like a maze; the space changes with what you need, want and make from it.
I joined ikattha because of the way it made me feel- safe and happy, yet not too comfortable to stop questioning. It is a healthy environment to create, where a few steps away from your personal studio you can find a collective member ready to collaborate, critique or share a coffee with.
My work was shared here with the world for the first time in a group show, and as an artist, it was a milestone crossed. ikattha has provided many such opportunities for creatives to showcase their work without discriminating between emerging or established.
ikattha is a family. And it functions like one. Everyone has to do the daily chores, share food (sharing is caring), and allow the other members to have their essential naps. We argue or disagree sometimes when it comes to collective decisions for the space but rationally discuss our way out of it. We share collective responsibility and that is something every member lives up to. The members are ever ready to help one another. I’ve personally gained a greatly from this space, may it be constructive criticism for my art practice, assistance for college applications or just another human to vent to when I'm feeling a little too emotional.
I’m the bird that left the nest(ready to be back soon), but the collective has never made me feel like an extended member; once family, always family."
Kosha Shah aka Oshkosh Paper Designs is a multidisciplinary artist who dabbles in photography, illustration, jewelry design and graphic design. Her forte is illustration, mixing different mediums and exploring different art forms.
"I joined Ikattha in the August of 2019. I was in need of a space that I could call my creative safe haven. Apart from the space, what I found was a creative family and community who supports each other and helps them grow. To me Ikattha means a second home. A place where I can push my creative limits."
Most of my personal work is inspired by my surroundings and experiences.
I also practice graphic design and printmaking. And love to experiment with different mediums.
"Ikattha is a place that makes my soul happy, being there is a transcending experience for me :) . Ikattha has an extremely peaceful and inspiring environment. Which is somethings I was looking for. I was looking for a co working place, but found Ikattha, which is way more than just a co-working place, its a collective, its a hug, its a home."
"I have been working at Ikattha for about a year. It provides an outstanding environment to think about and work on projects not only because of the physical space but also the other artists, whose individual practices and collaborative spirit provide endless inspiration."
Satyajit Chatterji is a multi-instrumentalist / composer, who has been part of the Ikattha Collective since October 2019. He has moved back to Mumbai after having completed a 5 year study at the Newpark Jazz Conservatory and DCU, in Dublin. He has performed extensively with musicians from across the world, particularly the Irish Contemporary and Free Jazz music scene in Dublin and Kilkenny. He is currently working remotely with his new formation - The Lovely Gazelles of Free Jazz based in Kilkenny, Ireland, among other personal solo projects and occasional commercial film music work.
I am Saumya. I am a fashion designer by training and currently exploring art, expression and healing (art therapy and alternative healing therapies), separately and together, through various mediums. I was teaching drawing and fashion design processes at various design schools and continue to do so in private spaces.
"On visiting ikattha and interacting with the people there over multiple visits last year (some full moon gatherings), I felt that it was the perfect meeting place for everything I was exploring. The people that make up Ikattha are special and handpicked and the one of most compassionate bunch of people I had met. The beauty of the different skillsets and ideas that they brought to the table, as individuals and also as a collective, floored me. and in no time I became a part of a beautiful family that grew together. Ikattha, as the name suggests, has truly been made purely from a lot of collective labor of love. It is home to the artist in me and the lover in me. It is the one place that can hold space for any radical conversation that needs to be had. And I can only hope to do justice to the space by exploring the depths of my craft and creating more love with every conversation."
freshprinceofbelapur (Siddhant Vetekar) is an electronic producer and bassist part of numerous independent acts in Mumbai, including Excise Department and Neil Mukherjee Trio, and tours/records frequently with artists including Rounak Maiti, Fox In The Garden and Satyajit Chatterjee. As the space manager for ikattha, he curates live music programming at the studio. He is primarily interested in exploring electronic music and production, creating a body of work as an artist and collaborator.
"ikattha has been a huge part of my life since Jan 2019. Being in the studio environment and being surrounded by these incredible artists and having the opportunity to observe their practices really opened up my perspective and gave me the confidence to take risks and explore my expression. We help each with when we feel stuck under a mountain of obstacles, we create work together, we organize events that bring more people through the door looking for such company and we drink beer and have wonderful conversations and make plans that lead to more work and more people through the door. It's home."
Tripti Sahni is an award winning, internationally trained lighting designer. Graduating with a Masters in Lighting Design from PARSONS, New York, she has worked with renowned names such as Tom Dixon (London) and IKEA.
Tripti balances creative thinking with technical expertise, helping spaces come alive by bringing out the richness of materials, exaggerating scale and enhancing geometry through modulations of light and shadow.
Her 'Light Space Art' work are inhabitable sculptures informed by gestalt theory and phenomenology and use light as a way to challenge the perception of spaces.
Currently she is completing architectural lighting projects and expanding her research into understanding how culture and climate shape architecture.
"It feels like home. There is a sacredness to creating within a shared space.
I find designs are stronger through trans-disciplinary conversations and are more contextual through collaborative iterations.
Ikattha is the perfect spot for someone looking to grow their practice. Not only am I surrounded by the most incredible artists, but there is comfort in knowing that each one is struggling through versions of their own creative process and coming out with inspiring work. Plus, I love knowing that help is just a shout (or a paper clip throw) away!"