Krishna Luchoomun is an artist and educator from Mauritius. He received ANT Mobility support in 2017 for a research and prospection residency in Madagascar to develop work and networks between Indian Ocean Island artists and organisations, and mainland Africa. During the trip Krishna also presented the idea of the Indian Ocean Islands Art Biennale, where art functions as a virtual bridge to bring the islands closer to each other.
Both as an individual artist and as the leader of pARTage, an artists’ collective based in Mauritius, I had the chance to benefit from the support of ANT Mobility for the realization of two different projects. The first was for the residency of a Zimbabwean artist in Mauritius and the second was for a personal research residency in Madagascar in 2017.
The two projects allowed us to connect more with artists from Madagascar and mainland Africa in order to broaden much needed cultural dialogue in the region. The residency of the Zimbabwean artist Tawanda Takura was a fine example of cultural exchange. It was the first time that Mauritius was receiving a Zimbabwean artist and his interaction with the young students of the art school was very impactful. He used a lot of mundane objects in his creations and today I can see this influence in the works of many young artists who were then students. The residency enabled Tawanda to also participate in our International Artists workshop where he was able to interact and network with many other international artists.
My research residency in Madagascar allowed me to meet cultural practitioners from a neighbouring island with whom we unfortunately have very limited cultural/artistic exchanges. During my trip we discussed the possibility of an Indian Ocean Islands Art Biennale. The ANT Mobility grant enabled us to touch base and discussions are still ongoing – we hope one day to make this common dream a reality!