Happenchance traces the journey of Australia's William Eicholtz (eminent sculptor), Louise Rippert (mandala artist) and India's Narayanan Mohanan and the musician Revati Sakalkar, as they explore the unknown setting of Kochi. As the Biennale takes its course, the stakes rise and the artists collaborate to produce beautiful art installations.
Building on the collaborative cross-cultural approach captured in their highly successful film Lights Across the Sea, William and Louise exchange skills and ideas with local artists and traditional craftspeople to create a body of works to be shown in the gallery and surrounding public areas. The exhibition includes sculptural and installation pieces referencing iconic imagery drawn from India and the West, inviting reflection on the many similarities and differences between cultures.Using the ancient Indian game of ‘Snakes and Ladders’ as a conceptual springboard, the artists explore and re-interpret symbolic images found upon both traditional and contemporary game boards, ranging from angels and gods to flowers, animals and people. The underlying themes of this simple childhood game also provide ample opportunity to explore cultural perspectives around luck, fate and karma in life’s journey.
As everyday objects become more expendable India’s place as the world leader in fine crafts and the tradition of the inter-generational craftsman continues to intrigue Australian artists as they seek to explore the renewal of techniques, processes and ideas. This parent project, Serendipitous Happenstance, exposes 6 Australian artists to the superb craft and artisanal practices that continue to be available in India today. The artists are William Eicholtz, Louise Rippert, Maree Clarke, Mandy Ridley, Catherine Parker and Maggie Baxter. They embark on a journey of sharing skills, culture and traditions.
The film concludes with the successful opening of ‘Serendipitous Happenstance’ exhibition along with the opening of the Biennale. Happenchance is supported by Australian Cultural Fund and Creative Partnerships Australia.
The documentary film is under post production and is scheduled for release in the coming month of October, 2017. For further insights, explore the websites of William Eicholtz, Louise Rippert, Australian Cultural Fund and Kochi Muziris Biennale 2017.
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