top hat icon red line icon baggage icon
The HAT Project 2006/07 is supporting 20 exchange fellowships between England, South Asia and Australia

Christine Cholewa

Residency at University College for the Creative Arts (UCCA)

cup a day project

Posted by Christine Cholewa on 8th April 2007

I am 3 weeks away from finishing my cup a day project. overall it has been a very useful and practical project. i now have a very nice collection of images that record my time during my HAT residency. i have been trying to put up images of each cup from the project on the web site. i have the february cups posted in the images folder now, and will have the march cups on the web site very soon.

my thoughts on India one week on

Posted by Christine Cholewa on 8th April 2007

Well what do I say about India? I was in Delhi India for a week long conference called cHAT week. It was the meeting up of everyone involved in the HAT Residencies. There were artists and hosts, critical writers and evaluators, from UK, Australia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We stayed at a place called sanskriti. ( This is a very quiet and peaceful place about 30 minutes from Delhi. It was a stark contrast to the city life, but a nice place to get to know the people involved in HAT.

During the week we all got to know each other and talk of our experiences - the good and challenging bits and make connections. During the week we also had more structured discussions about art, craft and our livelihoods made by these. We discussed the state of the traditional Indian crafts and the reasons why we make things. We visited a ceramic village and met with local crafts people and academics to hear about how things are done in India and how they are improving things and keeping the traditions alive.

India itself is quite amazing. It is full of contradictions. I saw the poorest people I have ever seen and the dirtiest conditions for living, but in the same street beautiful temples, and ornately decorated everday objects. It was an eye opener to see the cultures and religions all existing together. I can hardly even find the words to describe the smells, sounds and tastes that I experienced. Somehow I was lucky enough to not become ill with a stomach bug and enjoyed some of the food from the street vendors. Such variety!

You get the sense in India that anything is possible. I saw a family of 4 traveling on one motorcycle, mom dad child and baby, I saw large deliveries made on one small bicycle, children as young as four crossing a busy street easily and safely, (better than us tourists). The chaotic driving seems like the most terrifying thing ever, until you realise it has its own rules and that somehow you can make sense of the non-existing order. I didn’t see one accident or any road kill the entire week. The creative way things are repaired and reused was inspiring, and the fact that lots of city buses and cars and auto rickshaws are using clean fuels was also good to see. For a city that has so many people garbage and waste is everywhere, but with the use of unfired terracotta drinking cups rather than paper and bowls made from local dried leaves rather than plastic some of the rubbish will just decompose back to the earth. I think there are lots of these things we can learn to use in our western life.

I met lots of great people and learned a lot about India lifestyles, traditions and religions. I saw Old Delhi, the colourful markets, the silver markets, the crafts markets, the new underground metro, the rich people houses and the poor peoples tents under the freeway. This trip has peaked my interest in this area of the worlds, and I would like to make my way back to India for a longer visit and journey across the top to see Pakistan India and Bangladesh. Talking with all the artists and seeing everyone’s images really made you want to get more out of it. Experience the differences. I think the travel bug has bitten me! There were the bad things too, the people living on the streets, pick pockets, dirt and grime everywhere, unclean water, dirty toilets, but overall, my experience was positive. I came back with lots of photos, good memories and some new friends. I look forwards to planning a trip back and seeing more of the country.

research, then make work

Posted by Christine Cholewa on 15th March 2007

Since i arrived in Farnham I have spent a lot of time taking photos and making drawings from these photos. I have compiled quite a collection of images, mostly of trees, branches, people, rubbish, and buildings. i have started to combine these images and enamelling or engraving them onto the glass. It has been 6 or 7 weeks of research and travel, and this last week i have finally went into the studio to make some test pieces closer to how i would like the finished work to be. I still have to get into the silk screening area and print decals to use, but i am happy with the enamelling and engraving i have done. so far this it is still only a test, but with good results!

cups cups cups

Posted by Christine Cholewa on 25th February 2007

i have been in farnham now for almost 6 weeks. things are going well. it took a while to get settled into the studio, and to do this i gave myself a project to make 90 cups. these cups were made during my first 2 weeks at the school. then i sandblasted and acid finished the cups. now i take a cup a day out with me, and do a drawing at some point, of anything from the day. this is done on the walk in the morning, or at dinner, or of shoes that give me blisters, anything. after this i take the cups back to the studio where i redo the drawing with enamel pencils, and fire them permanently onto the glass in a kiln. at the end i will have a visual diary of my time in farnham and have done a drawing a day for 90 days. so by then it will hopefully be a new good habit and i will have hopefully gained confidence in my drawing. almost 4 weeks of drawings done now.

Click on image to open QuickTime movie


Christine Cholewa talks to conference during cHAT week at Sanskriti, Delhi, India. March 2007