04 Virtual Nursery


On the grounds of optimism and empathy, Pollinator intends to nurture the spirit of exchange of knowledge, sharing values through the nexus of our “peer-to-peer ecosystem”. The aim is to identify the practices as pedagogy and cultivate an inclusive learning ecosystem that indexes to achieve knowledge sharing through cross-pollination.

Virtual Nursery is a humble initiative to understand what a residency can do virtually in the context of present times, how it can impact creators and makers in their thinking process, how we can let go of certain mandated structures and requirements of traditional artist residencies. To broaden our scope this is our attempt to make it inclusive one on as many fronts as we can. We seek to emphasize on rethinking the arts and creative practices in the virtual context by concentrating more on what one can create going forward, rather than rest on accolades of what one has already created.

To curate Pollinator's first residency "FISSURE", we invited Shaleen Wadhwana - Arts Educator, as our Guest Pollinator.

Curatorial Prompt:

Fissure means to split, a state of incompatibility or disagreement, or the beginning of a crack. There are multiple ways to interpret fissure. For Pollinator 2020, we are focussing on fissures in the recent timeline of global and local human history. It ranges from the Pandemic, the damaging and healing effects of varying degrees of social isolation to large scale movements for human rights and protests against violence caused by hate, bias, fear. In these ruptures, we have witnessed the extent of human compassion through global cooperation. We have faced the undeniable fact that some have much more than they need and many do not have the bare basic minimum for sustained survival. We, as a community, are in a moment of the fissure, and how we respond to this determines how we are remembered in history.

Through the Virtual Nursery, Pollinator will delve into how ‘bias’ and ‘fear’ are understood in the art, history and contemporary society, in relation to the fissures that have been, and are being created around us.

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The Virtual Nursery program by Pollinator identifies cultural practices as pedagogy and aims to cultivate an inclusive learning ecosystem through cross pollination. Throughout the duration of the Nursery, the selected residents will be guided by Guest Curator, Shaleen Wadhwana (an Independent Arts Educator). Shaleen will host multiple group and one-on-one sessions with each resident to support, expand and build their practice further through the lens of her curatorial theme ‘Fissure’. In addition to this, the residents will be mentored by guest industry leaders and peers from within and outside the arts ecosystem, to develop critical thinking.

Curriculum-based Intervention

She has created an extensive curriculum, based on the curatorial theme ‘Fissure’, for the selected residents which requires 20 contact hours per month, which includes:

  • Individual Sessions 
  • Group Sessions
  • Reading/ research time/collaborative whiteboard

Through a collaborative online whiteboard as well as an online classroom,the residents are provided with a curated bibliography of research materials, prompts, academic guidance, relevant cultural context through class lectures, videos, podcasts and articles. The group and individual sessions involve compelling discussions that include deconstructing the curatorial prompt through moments in human history where art has reflected fissures of bias and fear - politically, socially and culturally.  The aim is to understand the global timeline of Fissure as well as finding gaps within their own practice. They also receive assistance to develop their works in the current digital environment and assessment of their practice through skill based knowledge.

Community Oriented and Peer-to-Peer Support

Pollinators believe that we are all part of one ecosystem. Communities cannot operate in isolation, hence, our projects are designed to facilitate and inspire a dialogue within communities in order to revitalize and defragment them. We believe in creating brief moments of care, where care doesn’t synonymize the feeling of concern but transcends deeper to empathy and optimism.

Virtual Nursery was developed on these same principles and works in tandem with individuals and organizations that are a part of the Pollinator ecosystem. The aim is to build a peer-to-peer ecosystem that strongly encourages community-driven initiatives that have socially driven  impact. Keeping in line with this ethos, the Pollinator residents will be giving a minimum of 10 hours of skill sharing to the NGO of their choice.

Virtual Exhibition

Towards the end of the 3 month long residency, the Pollinator residents will realise their project through works for a virtual display that is digitally viewable. The works produced will not only be digitally available but most importantly, conceived digitally from inception. 


The Virtual Nursery curriculum is delivered remotely. The residents will be working with Shaleen and the Pollinator team, on online whiteboards through recorded sessions. For purposes of community learning and knowledge sharing, parts of these processes will be made publicly viewable at the end of the residency.

Open Resources

Pollinators have co-created an open source bibliography for the prompt Fissure. It is an organic list of articles, videos, lectures, case studies and readings which will continue to be populated as the residency evolves. The residents will also contribute to this list as they research and develop their own work for the final Virtual Exhibition.

Cultural Funding 

The total amount of INR 25,000/- per resident will be released in 3 parts (INR 8333 x 3)  in the middle of every month by the Pollinator team. 3 months. 3 installments. 3 residents. 

For the other applicants

Pollinator team believes in the sustenance of our community through building a strong peer ecosystem. Virtual Nursery is conceived on the pillars of trust and empathy that ensures transparency in its functions, processes, and procedures. Hence, we are offering the following spaces of learning for all Pollinator applicants:

  1. Personalised feedback on request to help applicants develop their practice further 
  2. A curated discussion around contemporary relevant topics in this COVID affected world: how changes are taking place in the art world, how communication about one’s practice needs to adapt to this changing world & how to keep yourself nimble-footed in increasing virtual stimuli.  
    1. Session Duration: 40 minutes session with intensive Q&A
    2. When: 16th October 2020

Culture Share/ Public Sessions

As an added provision to the Virtual Nursery, Pollinator is introducing Culture Share, a series of public educational sessions. These sessions invite leading cultural cross-disciplinary practitioners to discuss a variety of subjects corresponding to the curatorial prompt of Fissure. Pollinator team believes that these online webinars will promote inclusivity by encouraging the Pollinator residents, applicants and other guest participants to interact with industry leaders, learn more about the relevant topics of the rapidly changing ‘today’, gain perspective and understand the way forward.  

These ticketed events are part of the Pollinator's circular economy, where the gathered funds will be used to feed the Pollinators' key operations & other factors of its ecosystem.