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Thursday, January 21, 2021

What Goa artist Kedar Dhondu discovers about people through his sketches during lockdown

From family ties being renewed to watching art and finding purpose as a health worker, everybody has been braving challenges and finding new ways to express love and courage

Written by Vandana Kalra | New Delhi | June 24, 2020 8:02:30 pm
kedar dhondu sketch A sketch of Sachin Kullu, a migrant labourer, by Dhondu. (Source: kedar_dk/Instagram)

Sachin Kullu was a field labourer in Jharkhand till he moved to Goa to work on construction sites. He became one among many migrants who was left without an income after the lockdown was announced to restrict the spread of COVID-19 in India. Kullu stayed home to look after his son, while his wife went to work. For Goa-artist Kedar Dhondu, he is Lonely Resident # 22 – one of the several residents who were home during this time. “I had been reading about how the epicentre had moved from China to Italy. When the lockdown was announced in India is when we really realised what is meant, that’s when I thought I should do something on it,” says Dhondu. He was also preparing for an exhibition in Milan in April, which is now postponed due to the pandemic.

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#repost @sunaparanta_goa . Lonely Residents | Part 2 ‘Lonely Residents’ is a study of people adjusting and adapting to life indoors. Initiated by Kedar Dhondu, the artist invites people stuck indoors to send him an image along with a line on how time passes. These submissions are being transformed into drawings on paper, turning into an archive of frozen moments of residents surviving the difficult and challenging quarantine in their homes. Since its launch, Lonely Residents has attracted submissions from people in Canada, Paris, Mumbai, Odisha who are undergoing different forms of curfew. We are proud to present the first drawings that capture the isolation, fear, anxiety, resilience and hope of the participants. This project is part of Surviving SQ (self-quarantine) a series through which artists share creative coping strategies during this unpredictable time. We continue to invite your submissions via WhatsApp to +91 96897 31459. The drawings will be on view every Wednesday on all Sunaparanta – Goa Centre for the Arts social media platforms. @delanodso @kiran.ambwani @art_by_ashish @paragtandelstoodeeoh @samarajitarya @kedar_dk @leandredsouza @ishetas #LonelyResidents #KillTheCurve #artistinquarintine #ArtistKillTheCurve #GoCorona #lockdown #survivingSQ #Quarantine #Contemporaryart #Art #India #Indianart #Goa #Sunaparanta #SunaparantaGoa

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In March, Dhondu sent an open call for people to share photographs of themselves at home, along with text on their thoughts and how they were making use of the time. In the following weeks he received responses from across the world, including Goa, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Udaipur, Montreal, Paris, London, Bangkok and New York. Nearly 25 sketches based on photographs have been uploaded on Dhondu’s Instagram account. “I don’t directly know all these people. It stemmed from my curiosity to know how the world was coping,” says Dhondu, who also teaches at Goa College of Art.

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Lonely Resident #21 . Jackie Lima / Easton, Pennsylvania, United States. .
Jackie lives in her studio, where she works. She also teaches art-history online. . ‘I go out for shopping whenever necessary by wearing mask and gloves. I also go out for jogging. What I miss is to be with friends, looking at art and visiting exhibitions’: Jackie.@jackie7139 . In Pennsylvania the confirmed COVID19 cases are 48,305 and deaths are 2418(on 3May2020 at17:53) . Residents are locked at homes at different parts of the world in compliance with the quarantine imposed by the government. This project is based on the images and statements that I have received from the people under quarantine, sent via email and WhatsApp. – #lonelyresidents #quarantinetimes #covid_19 #coronavirusoutbreakindia #survivingsq @leandredsouza @sunaparanta_goa

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Even as he prepares to add colour to the sketches, each post also represents the varied challenges faced by people in lockdown and how they are responding to the ‘new normal’. Standing in her living room, Poonam Naik from Goa shares: “Fear of uncertainty demands a much more ‘responsible person’ from me”. Dhondu elaborates how she is concerned about the safety of her family, especially the elders. Satyam Acharya, Dhondu tells us, “has developed a strong bond between himself and his father as they are living together… Satyam prepares tea and breakfast whereas lunch and dinner is cooked by his father.” Pennsylvania-based artist Jackie Lima notes how she wishes “to be with friends, looking at art and visiting exhibitions”.

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Lonely Resident #14 18/04/2020 . Jampa Monlam Topgyal | NY . 'Never in a million years did I ever think that I would find myself at the bedside again, working hand in hand with a team of incredibly talented and hardworking healthcare professionals. I forgot how gruelling and exhausting this work is and it is even more so during the COVID pandemic with many hospitals in NY working at 50% clinical staff capacity to take care of the sick. I am also thankful for my leadership who allowed me to relinquish my office responsibilities to volunteer full time and temporarily reassign back to clinicals’ : Jampa Monlam Topgyal, Senior Clinical Informatics Specialist, Northwell Health, South side Hospital, New York. . Residents are locked at homes at different parts of the world in compliance with the quarantine imposed by the government. This project is based on the images and statements that I have received from the people under quarantine, sent via email and WhatsApp. – #lonelyresidents #volunteer #icu #togetherwecan #seniorclinicalinformaticsspecialist #northwellhealth #newyork #quarantinetimes #covid_19 #coronavirusoutbreakindia #survivingsq @leandredsouza @sunaparanta_goa @northwellhealth

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Lonely Resident #9 04/04/2020 . Delano D'souza, Paris – France, is a journalist at FRANCE24, the international news channel. Apart from people who are forced indoors, journalists like Delano continue to take risks everyday. As many of his colleagues have children and need to be locked indoors, he keeps the show running by continuing to bring the news to people’s homes. As he lives alone, he uses his free time in isolation to cook, clean, iron clothes to keep himself busy. Here he is in one of the newsrooms of @france24 in Paris. @delanodso – Residents are locked at homes at different parts of the world in compliance with the quarantine imposed by the government. Share with me a picture of yourself in your house(looking at the camera) and also share with me how you feel being locked at home and how best you are using this time. – Email me : kedardhondu@gmail.com #lonelyresidents #lockedathome #quarantinetimes #covid_19 #coronavirusoutbreakindia #survivingsq @sunaparanta_goa

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While most are in their homes, Dhondu also reaches out to frontline workers. Wearing his PPE, we are introduced to Jampa Monlam Topgyal, Senior Clinical Informatics Specialist, Northwell Health, Southside Hospital in New York. He writes, “Never in a million years did I ever think that I would find myself at the bedside again, working hand-in-hand with a team of incredibly talented and hardworking healthcare professionals. I forgot how gruelling and exhausting this work is and it is even more so during the COVID pandemic with many hospitals in NY working at 50% clinical staff capacity to take care of the sick. I am also thankful for my leadership who allowed me to relinquish my office responsibilities to volunteer full time and temporarily reassign back to clinicals.” Paris-based Delano D’souza is a journalist at FRANCE24. Dhondu sketches him in a newsroom. The artist writes, “Apart from people who are forced indoors, journalists like Delano continue to take risks every day. As many of his colleagues have children and need to be locked indoors, he keeps the show running by continuing to bring the news to people’s homes.”

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