In this podcast SFG Director Saskia Fernando speaks with A4A grantees Lojithan Ram and Randika De Silva.
The Artists for Artists Production Fund (A4A) was an initiative launched by Udayshanth Fernando Foundation (UFF) in collaboration with Saskia Fernando Gallery (SFG) in October 2021. As Sri Lanka’s first publicly funded arts grant, aimed at fostering emerging artists in the region, A4A marked a milestone in Sri Lankan contemporary art.
The inaugural A4A was primarily generated from the sale of limited-edition poster prints donated by artists working with SFG and Paradise Road Galleries, and the grantees were selected from submissions received through an open call and judging process. The 2021 judging panel included Ms. Sonal Singh, Managing Director of Christie’s India, Dr. Sanjana Hattotuwa, Founder of Groundviews, and Prof. Jagath Weerasinghe, Artist and Archaeologist.
The funds collected through the initiative were used to cover production costs for materials, workspaces, and transportation for each artist selected for the grant. In addition to the financial support, the selected artists received continuous mentorship and access to the patronage and curatorial networks of the Saskia Fernando Gallery.
The A4A arrives at a critical time as Sri Lanka faces one of the worst economic crises in decades. By enabling young artists to continue researching and developing new bodies of work, this initiative addresses a long overdue gap in arts funding which has limited the scope for creative experiments in the region. It aims to support and launch the career of emerging artists and create a cycle of reinvestment in the Sri Lankan art community.
The A4A group exhibition is currently showing at Saskia Fernando Gallery from 19.01.23 – 19.02.23