International creatives are offering their support to India’s urgent Covid-19 relief efforts, as the country records 20 million coronavirus cases and saw a single-day death toll of 3,523 on Saturday 1 May. Among the many projects hoping to raise funds are two print sales: one organised by Glasgow screen print studio East End Press, and another named Art for India, which brings together photographic work by artists from India and the Indian diaspora.
The Art for India online print sale has been organised by Heta Fell and Vivek Vadoliya with Danielle Pender, and features works donated by Bharat Sikka, Prarthna Singh, Kalpesh Lathigra, Avani Rai, Vivek Vadoliya, and Ashish Shah. The sale runs until 9 May 2021, prints priced at £100, with all profits going directly to Mission Oxygen – a group of entrepreneurs in India who have launched an urgent operation to import oxygen concentrators and distribute them to Indian hospitals.
“As the UK (hopefully) emerges from the worst of its own crisis, seeing the news from India has been devastating and deeply affecting us all,” says a statement from the Art for India organisers. “We are grateful to the artists for joining us in this important cause and hopeful that each print sold can make a small but meaningful difference in lessening the tragedy of this situation.”
Meanwhile East End Press is selling three prints (£15 each or three for $40) with proceeds going straight to Jaipur residents affected by Covid. The studio sells decorative homeware primarily made in India, with all designs by founder Ellie Hodesdon deeply influenced by her time there. Hodesdon is sending the proceeds directly to her printers in Jaipur, a small family-run business which “knows their community well,” she tells us, “so by sending them the cash I knew it could be spent quickly and get to people who needed a hand, much faster than had I sent it to a larger charity. Last week I sent the first £3000 from the prints to my printer and within a few days he already had over 400 food packs made up and distributed across the city of Jaipur, with many more planned for the next few days.”
The prints depict Hodesdon’s favourite places in India, Kerala, Sanganer and Jaipur. “I have visited India several times and created the prints from collections of sketches I have from these past trips,” she explains. Keen to use her work to help her friends and colleagues there as quickly as possible, she collated the sketches into three prints and had them printed by Riso studio Wild Press. “I wasn’t sure how well they would sell but put them all over my Instagram and thankfully people have been very kind and generous,” she adds.
Avani Rai: Art for India print (Copyright © Avani Rai, 2021)