An Indian Summer, the UK festival celebrating South Asian culture, may have pushed back their main event programme, however the new art exhibition, An Indian Summer (AIS) Open, is now live.

Artists from across the world were invited to submit work in an open call-out, which closed at the end of June, exploring the theme of ‘Now We Are Free’ and what it means to be free in today’s world.

Now 20 artists working in a range of artforms have been chosen for the exhibition, curated by artist Ashokkumar Mistry. A panel of prestigious judges are to choose four finalists and then a winner announced Saturday 18 July, who will be given a £500 cash prize, with three runner ups will be awarded a £200 cash prize each.

An Indian Summer Leicester
Big Black Truth by Honey Williams

The judges this year include Louise Clements (QUAD Derby, Format Festival), Ashokkumar Mistry (AIS Open Curator & Artists), Jana Manuelpillai (Founder of The Noble Sage Gallery) and artists Sajan Mani and Kajal Nisha Patel.

The list of exhibiting artists are:

  • Nirmalendu Saha – India

  • Saeid Akbarnezhad – Iran

  • Ismail Khokon – United Kingdom

  • Teymour Ghaderi -Iran

  • Severina Danielova – Bulgaria

  • Esmaeil Ghaedi – Iran

  • S M Reyad – Bangladesh

  • Rupi Dhillon – United Kingdom

  • Amir Dehghan – United Kingdom

  • Amber Cannings – United Kingdom

  • Kinnari Saraiya – United Kingdom

  • Mustafa Boga – United Kingdom

  • Prasoon Poddar – India

  • Sabita Lakshmanan – India

  • Clare Brumby – United Kingdom

  • Sandeep Suneriya – India

  • Izaak Brandt – United Kingdom

  • Honey Williams – United Kingdom

  • 辛慧敏 Huimin Xin – China

  • Krishna Balakrishnan – United Kingdom

Inspired by the anniversaries of South Asian independence in recent years, the exhibition aims to explore what freedom feels like, tastes like and means once it has been attained. How does one express a freedom that is craved for so long? As the Covid-19 crisis forces us into isolation and takes away many freedoms globally, does this force us to understand and appreciate freedom differently?

An Indian Summer leicester
Crowds by Sandeep Sumeriya

An Indian Summer usually takes place across venues and public spaces in Leicester, but due to COVID-19 it has been repackaged and reimagined for online audiences – entirely hosted online.

The whole of the online festival was originally planned for 13-26 July, but due to the recent Leicester Lockdown the AIS team decided to postpone to 13-23 August for the safety of artists, partners and their production team. Despite this, a few festival events unaffected by the Leicester Lockdown are taking place as planned 13-26 July, including the AIS OPEN, which launched 13 July and runs until 23 August.

The AIS OPEN will be live on An Indian Summer Festival’s website until 23 August 2020.

Cover image – Adorned Dialogues by Mustafa Boga