The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) is delighted to announce that the Ila Dalmia FICA Research Grant 2017 is being granted to ceramic artist and research scholar, Kristine Michael.


This year, the jury consisted of Belinder Dhanoa, Assistant Professor, School of Culture and Creative Expressions, AUD; Parul Dave Mukherjee, Professor, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU;Yashodhara Dalmia, art curator and critic, and Vidya Shivadas, Director of FICA.

The jury noted the well-conceptualized proposals and was very appreciative to find that so many researchers, with longstanding and deep areas of inquiry, were turning to the Grant as a means of support for their independent research.

The jury was particularly impressed with Kristine Michael's proposal and appreciated her research questions around the foregrounding of the critical identity of Indian ceramics in 19th century colonial India, given especially how ceramic as a material of value has been historically neglected. They felt confident of her potential to narrow the existing gap between theory and practice by using her own intermediary position as both a ceramic artist and academician.

Kristine Michael's research project, titled “Artisan To Artist - The Stylistic Development of Indian pottery through Colonial Intervention of early Art Schools of Bombay, Madras, Jaipur and Lahore (1850-1910)” is a continuation of her PhD thesis being currently pursued at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

Through her project, Kristine is looking to investigate the various historical and social influences on ceramics as a vital material culture and vehicle for artistic, ritual, domestic, functional and innovative practices. Having studied the aesthetics and material shifts that ceramics as a craft has undergone and brought about, Kristine's thesis begins its survey in 1850 with the Great Exhibition which was instrumental in shaping early notions of the Indian ‘style’. The project looks at Indian pottery as an integral part of the ‘art manufactures’ exhibited at the International Exhibitions of the late 19th – early 20th century and studies the trajectory of subsequent British colonial policies of the time in art, craft and technical education along with its effect on traditional artisans.

About the recipient:

Kristine Michael is a Delhi-based ceramic artist and is currently pursuing her PhD at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has lectured in several national and international forums on ceramic history and is currently pursuing her PhD in the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, Delhi. She has a number of solo and group exhibitions to her credit and is currently the Curriculum Leader of Visual and Performing Arts, The British School, New Delhi since 2002.

About the Grant:

Instituted by FICA, with the support of art historian and curator Yashodhara Dalmia in the memory of her sister Ila Dalmia, the grant aims to encourage research in the field of Indian modern and contemporary art. The grant amount of Rs. 2 lakh will support a research project for one year. 

The application is open to individuals who are committed to researching in the field of visual arts with particular focus on Indian modern and contemporary art. This could include important first-hand research and archiving of art and art historical material, or a critical study of Indian art history, art criticism and practice, or an interdisciplinary analysis of the theory and practice in the visual arts, or studies in the related domains of curation, exhibitions, collection and the art economy.