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Arts SU Hands Out Two Bursaries to LGBTQIA+ Artists

We teamed up with Cass Art to award Material Bursaries to two artists featured in our LGBTQIA+ History Month exhibition!

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As celebrations and programme full of events have been taking place in February for LGBTQ+ History Month 2024, we wanted to take this moment to congratulate and celebrate two UAL students Kaavya Shankar and Naysha Satyarthi!

As part of this year's LGBTQ+ History Month programme, Arts Students' Union teamed up with Cass Art to award the Cass Art Materials Bursary. From the outstanding selection of work we showcased this year by UAL students, it was decided not one but two £250 bursaries would be awarded.

The bursary itself hopes to alleviate some of the challenges emerging artists are facing in today’s current economic climate, and offered to current students to support their continued creative practice. With an understanding that affording materials can often hinder producing work for emerging artists, Cass Art and Arts SU decided to offer two bursaries, which have the potential to greatly benefit the recipients by alleviating some of the financial burden that comes with producing work.

We are thrilled to announce that both Kaavya and Naysha were both awarded the Cass Art Bursary Award for their work showcased in this year’s CSM Window Gallery exhibition, Queer Resistance & Expression Through Creativity! Find out more about this year’s theme and the ongoing event programme Arts SU are hosting.

Queer Resistance & Expression Through Creativity was curated by Katwamba Mutale, London College of Fashion Sabbatical Officer, and Minna Ellis, Central Saint Martins Sabbatical Officer, both of whom also selected this year’s two bursary recipients. They said:“Congratulations to both Kaavya and Naysha! You both produced beautiful bodies of work. The use of colour and attention to detail are exceptional and you have both demonstrated a clear appreciation of the materials you are using. You have both been selected for the Cass Art Bursary because we believe your practices can be enhanced by the products Cass Art has on offer. Congratulations again!”

Kaavya Shankar

Instagram: @httpkaav

Portfolio: Course: MA Illustration and Visual Media College: London College of Communication Year of Study: Masters

Kaavya is an illustrator and designer from India, currently based in London. Their practice lies mainly in digital illustration, 2D animation and print making, with an interest in art and media involving queer narratives, mythology, and science-fiction. ‘Cosmic Bodies’ is currently being showcased in the Queer Resistance exhibition at CSM.

“In response to overwhelmingly dystopian cyberpunk media available, this project aims to envision a queer utopia, incorporating imagery inspired by South Asian mythology and posthuman bodies in contemporary sci-fi. Posthumanism, as it pertains to queerness, challenges the language available for self-definition and allows for individuals to experience emancipation by virtue of existing beyond the gender binary, in the slash between human/non-human. One of the outcomes of this project is a Risograph printed zine and poster depicting a queer post-human world and the creatures that inhabit it.”

Naysha Satyarthi

Instagram: @artsysushiroll Course: BA Painting College: Camberwell College of Arts Year of Study: Year 1

‘Khilna {to bloom}’ is currently being showcased in the Queer Resistance exhibition at CSM.

“I used, acrylic paints, oil paints, clay, lino printing, mehandi and oil pastels in this painting. One of the things I’ve heard homophobic people tell me, being out in India, is that “this didn’t exist before” and it’s a “western influence and trend” which isn’t true. People part of the LGBTQ+ community always existed. When you dive deep, Indian history is rich with queer people and we’re quite respected. It was commonly believed the queer people could give blessings. Unfortunately, after colonisation, society changed the way they treat queer people. A lot of people since have had to hide themselves, have been abused/killed or “married off” simply because of who they are and it still continues. To fight the idea of my identity being a modern idea, I wanted to imagine a lesbian couple maybe a couple hundred years ago, alone away from everyone just embracing themselves and truly getting “to bloom” when they are together. Taking that in a literal sense too, I created a painting that had flowers blooming all around them as a token of their pure love. This painting is extremely personal to me since I am finally at a place where I get to be open about who I am and show it in my art.”


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