Sonia Mehra Chawla
Sonia Mehra Chawla has a multidisciplinary practice as an artist, photographer, and researcher. Her artistic practice explores notions of selfhood, nature, ecology, sustainability and conservation. In her work, she uses a variety of media including photography, fine art printmaking, video, installation and painting.

Mehra Chawla's practice is process oriented and research based, with a focus on specific locations and micro histories. Through her artistic projects, she examines how local places contribute to global changes, what drives those changes, how these contributions change over time, how and where scale matters, what are the interactions between macro-structures and micro-agencies, and how efforts at mitigation and adaptation can be locally initiated and adopted.

The current and ongoing phases of her practice mark her close engagement with the present and future of India's coastal agriculture, and coastal and mangrove ecosystems. The artist's practice combines a commitment to the processes of research with a fidelity to the poetics of the artwork. Her work brings together a variety of impulses, ranging from microscopic details of bacterial and microbial cultures to documentary cinematic studies of marginalized groups whose Eco-sensitive occupations have suffered as a result of the decline in their environment.

The artist's work is often a result of sustained collaborations with scientific institutions, research institutions, Non Profit Organizations and Trusts in India, as well as interactions with fishing communities, farming and agricultural communities, tribal and indigenous people of India.

Through her practice, Mehra Chawla explores, dissects, re-examines and re-envisions spaces that exist at the intersections of art and science, social and natural realms, self and the other, focusing on the important dimensions of human engagement with and within nature, ranging from the built-environment to the 'wilderness', and human and non-human narratives and interrelations in the Anthropocene.

The artist lives and works in New Delhi, India.

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MARG'S LATEST PUBLICATION ON ART & ECOLOGY FEATURES SONIA MEHRA CHAWLA'S ARTISTIC ENGAGEMENT WITH ECOLOGY. CULTURAL THEORIST AND CURATOR MAYA KOVSKAYA WRITES ABOUT MEHRA CHAWLA'S ONGOING PROJECTS IN HER COMPREHENSIVE ESSAY 'SOLASTALGIA, THE ANTHROPOCENE IN INDIAN CONTEMPORARY ART'.

Sonia Mehra Chawla's work from her 'Critical Membrane' and 'Salt Lab' series has been featured in Marg's latest publication on Art & Ecology, edited by Ravi Agarwal and Latika Gupta.

'The severe climate crisis threatens to cripple our collective futures and it is now more important than ever to explore counter-narratives from the Global South that include perspectives on gender, class, caste, labour, ritual and mythology; all lenses through which India has been engaging with ecology.'

In her comprehensive essay 'Solastalgia, the Anthropocene, and Indian Contemporary Art', art theorist and curator Maya Kovskaya explores a range of artistic engagements with ecology by eminent cultural practitioners who have been addressing these urgent issues through individual and community-led practices in photography, video, site-specific installations and sound art. The essay features the works of Sheba Chhachhi, Ravi Agarwal, Amar Kanwar, Sonia Mehra Chawla, Desire Machine Collective, Shweta Bhattad and Tushar Joag.

MARG
ART & ECOLOGY,
Vol.71, No. III, MARCH 2020

SONIA MEHRA CHAWLA'S SOLO PRESENTATION 'ENTANGLEMENTS OF TIME & TIDE' WILL BE PART OF THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FESTIVAL 2020.

The world's largest science festival returns to Edinburgh for 2020. The Edinburgh International Science Festival will open to audiences across the globe this April, bringing great minds together for a programme that fosters dialogues about the future of our culture, our nation, our planet and our understanding.

Mehra Chawla's project has been supported over a period of two years by Edinburgh Printmakers, Creative Scotland, Marine Scotland, Marine Laboratory of the Scottish Government, and ASCUS Lab, Edinburgh.

'An artistic engagement with the North Sea/Atlantic Ocean that explores the body of water in its poetic, ecological, economic and political capacity. The body of work includes new prints commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers, along with videos, living systems and archival historical scientific material.'



ENTANGLEMENTS OF TIME & TIDE, SONIA MEHRA CHAWLA'S INSTITUTIONAL SOLO PRESENTATION IN THE UK WILL OPEN TO AUDIENCES IN 2020.
THE PROJECT IS SUPPORTED BY EDINBURGH PRINTMAKERS, MARINE SCOTLAND, CREATIVE SCOTLAND & ASCUS ART & SCIENCE.

Sonia Mehra Chawla's debut UK Institutional solo presentation @ Edinburgh Printmakers' glorious new heritage home at Castle Mills (Formerly the headquarters for the North British Rubber Company and the city's largest industrial operation within the British Empire) will open to audiences in April 2020.

The project has been supported over a period of two years by Creative Scotland, Marine Scotland, Marine Laboratory of the Scottish Government, and ASCUS Lab, Edinburgh. The art-science engagement project is part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival 2020, 'Elementary'.

'An artistic engagement with the North Sea/Atlantic Ocean that explores the body of water in its poetic, ecological, economic and political capacity. The body of work includes new prints commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers, along with videos, living systems and archival historical scientific material.'



SONIA MEHRA CHAWLA HAS BEEN AWARDED AN INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP AND RESIDENCY BY AKADEMIE SCHLOSS SOLITUDE, GERMANY FOR 2019-2020. THE FELLOWSHIP IS AWARDED FOR THE ART, SCIENCE & BUSINESS PROGRAM.

Sonia Mehra Chawla has been awarded an International Fellowship in the area of Social Sciences from the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany. She has been invited to the Akademie for a long term research-based project and International Artists' residency (2019-2020) in the Art, Science, and Business program of the Akademie Schloss Solitude.

The Akademie Schloss Solitude is housed in the palace complex of the breathtakingly beautiful Solitude Palace.

'The program art, science & business pursues the goal of promoting dialogue between art, science and business. It was developed in 2002 from the idea that the fields of art, science and business need not be understood as separate, but as complementary activities. Their representatives often deal - in addition to all the divergence and necessary autonomy of the disciplines - with the same questions, which, however, they pose in different ways and process with divergent methods.'

SONIA MEHRA CHAWLA HAS BEEN INVITED TO DELIVER A LECTURE PRESENTATION AT IIT COGNITALKS 2018, THE ANNUAL SEMINAR OF INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, INDIA.

COGNITALKS 2018
ANNUAL SEMINAR, ORGANIZED BY CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE AND BRAIN SCIENCES
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, IIT GANDHINAGAR, INDIA

Sonia Mehra Chawla has been invited to deliver a lecture presentation at IIT Cognitalks 2018. Cognitalks is a part of Indian Institute of Technology's Annual Seminar, organized by Centre for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, IIT Gandhinagar, India. Mehra Chawla's presentation is titled 'Material and Discursive Possibilities in the Contemporary Art Framing of Art & Science'.

'Insights about human cognition are increasingly influencing modern science, art and design. New technologies are beginning to incorporate principles of how we perceive the world, learn and remember information, make decisions and interact with the environment. We believe in expanding our knowledge about cognitive science by incorporating ideas from different disciplines.

Through this event, we aim to provide a platform for interaction between experts studying human cognition from different perspectives. This year, we have invited an eclectic group of experts to engage in a discussion.'

HENCE (UN) PROVEN
REFLECTIONS ON ART AND SCIENCE

Looking back over 10 years of Art and Science programmes at Khoj, the latest publication Hence (un)Proven pulls together talk transcripts, interviews, critical writing and artist concept notes. The first in a series of publications, this book has been edited by Aparna Uppaluri and assistant edited by Mila Samdub.

Sonia Mehra Chawla is a Fellow of the Art & Science program instituted by Khoj International Artists' Association and Wellcome Trust UK/ DBT India Alliance. She was a part of the third edition of the Art & Science International Residency 'The Undivided Mind' in 2018. The publication features her research based project 'The Salt Lab'.

Published by Khoj International Artists' Association, India. Edited by Aparna Uppaluri.
Supported by Wellcome Trust UK / DBT India Alliance.

2018

RESEARCH RESIDENCY, EP SPACES, ABERDEEN
EDINBURGH PRINTMAKERS, SCOTLAND 2018

Sonia Mehra Chawla will undertake the research arm of her artistic residency at EP Spaces Aberdeen, in Summer, 2018.
The research residency in 2018 is part of a long-term project with Edingburgh Printmakers Scotland. (2018-2020) Supported by Creative Scotland.

SONIA MEHRA CHAWLA IS THE RECIPIENT OF THE ART+ SCIENCE GRANT AWARD 2017-18 INSTITUTED BY KHOJ INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS' ASSOCIATION INDIA, SUPPORTED BY THE WELLCOME TRUST UK & DBT INDIA ALLIANCE.

Sonia Mehra Chawla has been selected for the International Art+Science Grant Award 2017-2018 instituted by Khoj International Artists' Association and supported by the Wellcome Trust UK/ DBT India (Dept. of Biotechnology, India) Alliance.

The Art + Science programme is designed to advance projects that explore artistic applications of emerging thoughts and technologies with the help of partners from the scientific industry and academia.This year the Art + Science programme will engage emerging themes around science and technology.

The Grant includes a project research and development phase (2017-18), an International Artists' Residency, an exhibition/open studio and a related seminar in 2018.

EIN WELT IN DER STADT: ZOOLOGISCHE UND BOTANISCHE GARTEN
'A WORLD IN THE CITY: ZOOLOGICAL AND BOTANIC GARDENS'


CURATED BY KAIWAN MEHTA

INSTITUT FUR AUSLANDSBEZIEHUNGEN
INSTITUTE FOR FOREIGN CULTURAL RELATIONS, IFA
STUTTGART, GERMANY
MAY - JULY
2017

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RESIDUE

IMMERSIVE INSTALLATION AT YINCHUAN BIENNALE 2016
CURATED BY BOSE KRISHNAMACHARI

YINCHUAN BIENNALE 2016
FOR AN IMAGE, FASTER THAN LIGHT
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, YINCHUAN
CHINA
2016

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WASTE LANDS

MEERA MENEZES WRITES ABOUT SONIA MEHRA CHAWLA'S RECENT WORK FROM THE CRITICAL MEMBRANE SERIES THAT WAS SHOWCASED AT THE YINCHUAN BIENNALE IN CHINA IN 2016, AND IN A SOLO PRESENTATION OF HER WORK AT NEW DELHI'S EXHIBIT 320 IN 2017.

ART INDIA- 'ANTHOLOGY OF EXHIBITIONS' ,VOL XXI, ISSUE II, 2017
PUBLISHED BY ART INDIA PUBLISHING COMPANY PVT LTD

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