Ravi Agarwal’s Landscape Series 1 was created in 2018 following a residency in the Scottish Highlands, and is part of his research considering the pressures and challenges to nature in Scotland and India and the need to rethink urban sustainability. The residency culminated in the exhibition Nàdar / Prakriti, the artist’s first UK solo show, which brings these aspects to the fore by interrogating ideas of nature and landscape.
Ravi Agarwal has an inter-disciplinary practice as an artist, photographer, environmental campaigner, writer and curator. His work explores key contemporary questions of ecology, society, urban space and capital. Photography has been a prime medium for him for over four decades, which has expanded over time to include video, public art, installations, and recently also printmaking.
In 2017, Agarwaal undertook a research residency in the Scottish Highlands supported by the John Muir Trust to inform a print studio residency at Edinburgh Printmakers. As part of his research, Agarwal considered the various pressures and challenges posed to nature in Scotland and India and community efforts for re-wilding, as well as the ongoing various multidisciplinary conversations to rethink urban sustainability as part of a larger ecospace. His residency culminated in the exhibition Nàdar / Prakriti, the artist’s first UK solo show, which brings these aspects to the fore by interrogating ideas of nature and landscape. A digital catalogue for the exhibition can be accessed here: https://www.edinburghprintmakers.co.uk/mediaLibrary/other/english/50003060.pdf
Agarwal's key projects have long engagements for several years, and are often accompanied by published diaries and writings. His work has been shown widely including at the Yinchuan Biennial (2018), Kochi Biennial (2016), the Sharjah Biennial (2013), Documenta XI (2002) amongst others. He co-curated the Yamuna-Elbe project, Indo German twin city public art and ecology project (2011), and Embrace our Rivers an Indo- European project in Chennai (2018), and has been appointed photography curator for the Serendipity Arts Festival (Goa, India, 2018). His work is in several private and public collections, and he has served on several art juries and committees.
Recent exhibitions include: 2019 Ecology of Loss, Curated Marco Stoconi, PAV Centre, Turin; 2019 The Desert of the Anthropocene,India Art Fair – Solo Project Booth; 2018 Nàdar/Prakriti, commissioned and presented by Edinburgh Printmakers as part of Edinburgh Art Festival; 2018 Can you hear the Sea Speak, Public Art Installation, Auroville 50thAnniversary; 2018 Room of Sands and Room of the Seas, in Ecologies on the Edge, Starting from the Desert, Yinchuan Biennial. Museum of Contemporary Art, Yinchuan, China; 2017 The Familiar is Always a Stanger, Francois Delecroix, IFI and Gallery Espace; 2017 Anti-Memoirs, Curated Ranjit Hoskote, Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa, India; 2017 50:50 curated Johny M.L. Birla Academy of the Arts, Kolkota; 2017 Unfiltered, William Benton Museum of Art .USA; 2016 Else, all will be still, Gallery Espace, New Delhi; 2016 Sangam Dialogues, Video and Audio Installation, Kochi Biennial, curated by Sudahrshan Shetty, Kochi, India; 2016 After the Flood, Bodgaya Biennial, curated Rahul Dev, Vinay Kumar, Patna, Bihar, India; 2015 Else, all will be still, The Guild, Alibaug, Mumbai; 2015 Looking In/Looking Out: Contemporary Indian Photography from the Gaur Collection, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, USA; 2015The Eye and the Mind: New Interventions in Contemporary Art, curated by Rajeev Lochan, Director, National Gallery of Modern Art, at Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou and Shanghai, China.
His practice has been written about extensively in publications such as Fotografie –Eine Analyse der Arbeiten von Ravi Agarwal (inKulturelle Übersetzer, Cathrine Bublatzky, Germany 2018), Art Ecology Now, (Andrew Brown, Thames and Hudson, UK, 2014), Cities and Photography, (Jane Thorny, Routledge, 2013) and Third Text,(Dec 2014, ed. T.J Demos). The book Down and Out, laboring under globalization (OUP 2000), photographed by him, is part of visual anthropology curriculums.
Ravi is also the founder director of the environmental NGO Toxics Link and has pioneered work in waste and chemicals in India. He serves on many policy and regulatory committees and Boards and writes extensively on sustainability issues both academically, as well as in the popular media and has co-edited several books. He was awarded the UN Special Recognition Award for Chemical Safety in 2008 and the Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship in 1997. His formal training has been in engineering and management.