Hailing from the picturesque town of Siliguri, Biplap Sarkar had many reasons to celebrate. He found himself at the seventh spot of the Glenfiddich Emerging Artist of the Year 2018 with a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and an international allowance and work allowance of Rs 1.2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively.
His winning artwork mainly puts into spotlight the urban narrative of lifestyle and challenges faced by street vendors and hawkers at heritage sites and local markets. A visibly excited Biplap said,
I am extremely honoured and excited to have been selected for the 2018 Glenfiddich Artists in Residence programme. I look forward to exploring new ideas while on residence at Glenfiddich distillery and working with artists from different cultures and practices.
A 17-year-old artist-in-residence programme, the award takes the winners to Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland. Four other Indian artists make it to the final list too. Through his art form, Biplab also indulges in conversations with these hawkers who eventually give shape to his art form. He has an MFA in Painting from College of Art from the Delhi University and has hosted several art exhibitions across the country. Speaking to the media, Peter Gordon, Director, William Grant & Sons India, the parent company of Glenfiddich, said,
We are delighted to offer a platform for Indian artists to experiment and create extraordinary works in a completely unexpected setting.
The panel, which judged the programme, included respectable artists and art critics, and candidates were chosen after the panel passed through 1,700 entries. Last year, over 2,500 works by 810 artists were showcased, an Economic Times report said.
Last year, artist from Orrisa Sitaram Swain won the Glenfiddich award to become the sixth recipient of the award.
(With inputs from IANS)