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Arpita Shah awarded residency

POSTED: 17 October 2018

Artist Arpita Shah will go to Syracuse, New York for the 2019 Light Work + Autograph Artist Residency

Each year, Autograph teams up with Light Work in Syracuse, New York to send an artist on a one month residency to focus on their photographic practice. The programme has been running since 1996. 

Participants use their time to pursue personal projects; photographing in the area, printing for a specific project, or developing an exhibition or publication. They are provided with travel expenses, a stipend for living and production expenses, private darkroom, an apartment and 24-hour access to Light Work’s photo and computer lab facilities.

During her time in Syracuse, Arpita Shah will be developing her Nalini series into a publication. Nalini combines photography, installation, archival family photographs and found objects to interrogate the personal and cultural issues around migration, displacement and colonialism found within the South Asian Diaspora.

Looking into her own family history, Nalini centres on Arpita's mother, grandmother and herself - exploring the intimacy, distance and tensions between generations of women that have grown up and lived across various continents and cultures. Nalini is Shah’s grandmother’s name, which in ancient Sanskrit translates to lotus flower, symbolizing the womb, fertility and rebirth.

Arpita's residency will take place in September 2019, and we'll share the results on the Autograph Blog.

In the meanwhile, see Arpita Shah’s exhibition Purdah – The Sacred Cloth at our gallery in Shoreditch, London, on until 3 November 2018.


Arpita Shah is a photographic artist and educator based in Scotland, working between photography and film to explore the intersections of culture and identity. Her experience spent living between India, Ireland and the Middle East before settling in the UK is reflected in her practice, which often focuses on the notion of home, belonging and shifting cultural identities. Shah’s work tends to draw from Asian and Eastern mythology, using it both visually and conceptually to explore issues of cultural displacement in the Asian Diaspora.

find out more

Essay by Emilia Terracciano 

In 1000 Words Magazine


Arpita Shah:
Purdah - The Sacred Cloth

27 July - 3 November 2018


The Autograph + Light Work Artist Residency


If you're in Glasgow, be sure to see Arpita Shah's series Nalini at Street Level Photoworks. Exhibition runs from 9th February 2019 - 7th April 2019 - visit their website for details. 


Arpita Shah's Nalini series is also supported by Creative Scotland, Street Level Photoworks, and the Hope Scott Trust.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Sample Logo
Creative Scotland
Street Level Photoworks
Hope Scott

Images, from top left: 1,2, and 4) Arpita Shah, Nalini. 3) Arpita Shah, Sari, Reshma. From Purdah – The Sacred Cloth (2013). Images courtesy Arpita Shah.