The inaugural Fellows Lab will be held at the Shillim Institute and Resort in Maharashtra, India in the Spring of 2018.

The site, designed by landscape designer, Margie Ruddick, is located in the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World heritage site and biodiversity hotspot, and is an example of how private land owners, with a planning team, can integrate conservation, ecological remediation and enhancement, and community engagement into the development planning and design process. Sitting in the diverse and threatened landscape of the Ghats, the retreat will bring together artists, conservationists, scientists and policymakers. The ecological services consultancy, OIKOS, who have conducted the most recent ecological survey of Shillim, will provide a critical understanding of the ecological framework in the Western Ghats. This arts/conservation collective will participate in workshops, walks, and a wide range of immersive exercises in the landscape, presentations and performances. All of the work done at the retreat will be assembled in an Artist Book, the first in a series of publications by The Shillim Foundation. The book will combine the ecological work done on the site to date, conceptual mapping done during the retreat, practical guidance about the preservation of wild landscapes, strategies for catalyzing and implementing conservation of the Ghats, and work produced by the artists alone or in collaboration with others.

Constantine Baecher

DANCER/CHOREOGRAPHER CONSTANTINE BAECHER will create a set of dances for international performances in 2018-19. Working with photographers Linda Pollak and Ernestine Ruben, he will create works that evoke the Shillim landscape, integrating photographic projections and videos with the dancer’s movement both in the landscape and architecture of Shillim. These works will be part of his ongoing series, Photoformance, an experimental merging of the human body and the environment, with startling and beautiful results.

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Ecological Consultant

Oikos is an ecological services consultancy working in the Western Ghats since 2002. They will provide a crticial regional understanding based on their work with private landowners, ranging from a single farm house to 1,000-acre estates.

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Linda Pollak

PHOTOGRAPHER LINDA POLLAK, whose work embraces the language of everyday artifacts to reveal complex processes occurring in the natural world. Her images reveal structures and affiliations, between and across species and established categories. At Shillim she will produce a broad range of images for solo exhibition, print publication, and collaborative installation work.

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Leeanne Alonso
Biodiversity Specialist

BIOLOGIST LEEANNE ALONSO has coordinated and led more than 45 scientific expeditions to document the biodiversity of unexplored parts of the world. Dr. Alonso will draw on her experience as the director of Global Biodiversity Exploration and previous head of the Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) at Conservation International to work with international biodiversity experts and local scientists and students at Shillim, insuring that ecological data are turned into conservation action on the ground.

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Vicky Colombet

PAINTER VICKY COLOMBET will work with the Shillim-area community to produce pigments made from local stone, clay, soils and plants, which she will deploy in drawings and paintings. Colombet’s work is both abstract and suggestive of landscapes, topographies, the erosion of the earth and its ephemeral elements. Her work will be exhibited alongside the landscape paintings of Claude Monet atthe Musée Marmottan-Monet in Paris in 2019.

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Erin Gee

COMPOSER ERIN GEE will work with SOUND ENGINEER JOEL GORDON to curate and create bioacoustical recordings of creatures and natural forces at Shillim. These will provide source material and inspiration for a new work for string quartet, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet. The Kronos Quartet will premiere Erin’s Shillim string quartet in the 2017-18 as part of its Fifty for the Future initiative.

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