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About Us


I have known rivers …
I have known rivers ancient as the world and
Older than the flow of human blood in human rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers..


So wrote the American poet Langston Hughes in his poem Negro speaks of Rivers.

Here through the GOWRY ART INSTITIUTE we pay a humble homage To that eternal river of human creativity that finds expression as lines, Words, colours, sounds and shape. And we build bridges too among Arts of every kind and communities of painters , writers, sculptors , musicians, Photographers, film makers , all categories of practicing artists of the world.

And underneath that river , like the fire inside the water imagined in the Indian traditions of art and thoughts , is the undying glow of feminine energy that takes many froms and hues in nature as well as art.

That fire was at the core of artist Sajitha Shankar’s dream which has today taken from as the GOWRY ART INSTITUTE. The dream arose from her own studio Kallar , which stands on a unique location on the banks of the Vamanapuram river, over which rise the sacred Agastyar Mountains. The dreams was about a creative space that would be more of a room for all than a “room of one’s own” . It would be a space of synergy of synthesis of dialogue between those who are courageous enough to push the boundaries of art and challenge the aesthetic of conformity.

The Institute was registered in 2007 but it took shape through discussions with artists , activists and academics in India , UK , France and Germany and more than anything through the deep friendship between Sajitha and writer and activist Amrit Willson and their shared ideas and passion for art and feminism.

Gowry Art is primarily dedicated to the promotion of visual arts with a special focus on women artists. In India , Amrita Sher Gil, Shobha Broota , Saroj Pal Gogi , Arpana Caur, Anjolle Ela Menon, Padmini , Arpita Singh, Madhavi Parekh, Anju Dodlya, neellma Shelkh , Pushpamala, Rekha Rodwittya, Anita Dubey, kanchan Chander , kavita Nayar and Sjitha herself have enriched woman’s expression by exploring the female body and self , by creative realist , impressionist , surrealist and abstract modes in specifically Indian ways.

At the heart of the Institute’s creative wellspring is the idea of meditating of feminity by exploring the sensibilities , emotions and insights which are rooted specifically in woman’s inner lives and experiences of seeking out creative linkages between this reclaimed ‘femininity’ and prakriti ( Nature ) and of insulting a new aesthetics of the feminine through the flow –maps of Prakriti .

Although the Institute is focused on visual arts , Gowry Art welcomes filmmakers , writers , poets , musicians and Photographers . We envision that the confluence of very different creative energies will release new and unexpected synergies. Artists whose talents are unacknowledged in mainstream aesthetic norms are particularly welcome. The residencies and all other activates will be open to men and woman alike .

Gowry Art aims to keep live a dynamic space for creative interaction . The Institute will hold activities to initiate dialogues between the participant , Organize gallery shows and / or screenings in the city , conduct art camps, promote art education, offer fellowships / scholarships and free residencies. long –term projects include an art gallery in the city, Digital Documentation of artists contributions, and digital archives.

Gowry Art is a non-profit organization free from commercial intentions. It is not Allied to any political party or formation and will not accept direct or indirect corporate support or sponsorship. The Intention is to make it a self-reliant institution with the income it generate through the residences and contributions from supportive individuals and organizations.

Gowry Art hopes to create national and international bridge for dialogue and interaction . In this increasingly globalised world It is and Endeavour to develop shared goals outside the canvas. The support and encouragement of many artists in the formative years of Gowry Art has been extraordinary . Their solidarity has been us through this far. We hope it will continue to illuminate the way ahead.

Gowry Art is dedicated to the memory of two great creative artists –writer and poet kamala surayya and dancer chandralekha, whose creative struggles and explorations continue to inspire Us.


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