Holi Hai! India based Artist Open Call

Artcore and FORMAT Festival Residency Partnership

FORMAT International Photography Festival and Artcore are supporting 1 Indian artist working in lens-based and related media for the Holi-Hai residency. The selected Indian artist will undertake a one-week residency in Vadodara, India, alongside two artists  selected from the UK. They will then travel to Derby, UK for two weeks and will install an exhibition at Artcore as part of the next FORMAT biennale – FORMAT23.

The Holi Hai! Residency will take place in the tribal-rich district of Chhota Udepur in the western-most state of Gujarat. For the Rathwa tribal community in this region, Holi is their most important festival and is celebrated across the districts for almost ten days. The main method of celebration is through numerous village fairs where tribal families, dressed in their best clothes and jewellery congregate to enjoy themselves; participating in community song and dance, playing the flute, shopping, eating from food stalls and so on. The villagers reach the fair, almost dancing their way from their village. It is a sight that is seen to be believed!

The base for the Resident Artists in this tribal area will be the Adivasi Academy (Adivasi = Tribal) at village Tejgadh in Chhota Udepur district. Adivasi Academy is managed by the Vadodara-based Bhasha Research and Publication Centre which works with documentation of tribal culture, history, arts and crafts, performance art, way of life and their indigenous languages.

In 2023, Holi falls on the 6th and 7th of March (Holika worship and burning on the evening of the 6th and Dhuleti – playing with colours – on the 7th). The most important Holi fair is the Gher no Melo (9th March, near Kawant town), then there is Raichinpura no Melo (10th and 11th of March near Tejgadh) and Waghwastal no Melo (12th March, near Chota Udepur town). (Melo = Fair).

The artists will each make work responding to the festival celebrations, culture, and residents of the villages; explore and engage with the communities of Vadodara, create dialogue and engagement with the Baroda artists’ community and the wider Indian Contemporary Arts and Cultural Sector (artists, studios, producers, galleries, venues and festivals) and finally exchange ideas and practices to curate a collaborative exhibition at Artcore Gallery in Derby, UK for FORMAT23.


We are looking for one India based artist with: 

  • A commitment to developing their practice
  • An interest in how sharing practices and collaborative working can inform the development of their work and how this residency will benefit their practice.
  • An aim to embrace the ways in which cultural experiences will inform further development of their own work. The residency will take place in Baroda, India.


Residency deadline:

Application deadline: 11th December 2022 

Artist selection/Interview: Week commencing 12th December 2022 (date T.B.C)

Residency: From 1st March 2023 – 8th March 2023

Exhibition in UK: April 2023 – Dates TBC