The SSAF Kasauli Art Project (SKAP) is a programme of the Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation, located at Ivy Lodge in Kasauli, the site of the Kasauli Art Centre, established by Vivan Sundaram in his family home in 1976. Ivy Lodge was bequeathed to Vivan and his sister Navina Sundaram by their mother Indira Sher-Gil Sundaram (1914–1975).
Until 1991, the Kasauli Art Centre regularly organized artists’ workshops, seminars, theatre and performances, film screenings and other arts-related events with Indian and international artists in residencies and workshops that were among the first of their kind in the country. In 2023, SSAF–Tulika Books published a major book Kasauli Art Centre 1976–1991 that delves into its history and cultural contexts.
In 2016, with the establishment of the Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation (SSAF), it was proposed that the locale and setting be re-invented as the SSAF Kasauli Art Project (SKAP), with renewed infrastructure and a cross disciplinary programme that focusses on process-oriented workshops, performance making and theatre, seminars and screenings.
The transition of the Kasauli Art Centre to SKAP was initiated with ‘The Fall of the Slab‘ a two-day, multi-disciplinary art project conceptualized by Vivan Sundaram in September 2016. Conceived as an installation, performance and sound work coming together on a single platform, the event centred on the demolition of a concrete slab (the outdoor ‘Slab’ had served as a stage for several activities of the Kasauli Art Centre) and brought together multiple practices to create a ‘live’ immersive experience.
As work on SKAP was nearing completion, Vivan Sundaram passed away on 29 March, 2023 just short of his 80th birthday when he planned to announce and formally launch SKAP. To celebrate Vivan on his 80th birth anniversary and to mark the beginning of SKAP, a series of events were curated as a 2-day programme on 27–28 May at Ivy Lodge in Kasauli.