Pew Fellows of the Week: An Interview with Landscape Architects Anuradha Mathur & Dilip da Cunha

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Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha, 2017 Pew Fellows. Photo by Ryan Collerd.

Our Pew Fellows interview series focuses on the artistic lives of our Fellows: their aspirations, influences, and creative challenges.

This week, we speak to landscape architects Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha (2017) whose collaborative work imagines new possibilities for design of the built environment and explores the lines separating land and water, and urban and rural environments. Their interest in how water and landscapes are visualized has taken them to diverse terrains around the world, including Bangalore, Mumbai, Jerusalem, the Himalayas, and, most recently, the Sundarbans in southern Bangladesh. Their design practice includes writing, imaging, teaching, and the use of a range of artistic media “to produce works and pedagogical processes that strive to draw out the material complexity and inherent dynamism of places,” they say. The duo are currently at work on Ocean of Rain: Ganga vs. Ganges, a multimedia exhibition that presents Ganga as rain rather than a river commonly called the Ganges. The exhibition follows from the argument of da Cunha’s forthcoming book The Invention of Rivers: Alexander’s Eye and Ganga’s Descent.

Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha Q&A: Content Block 1

Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha Q&A: Content Block 2

Anuradha Mathur & Dilip da Cunha Q&A: Content Block 3

What single ethical consideration most impacts the decisions you make as a collaborative team?

In a world with an intense desire to individualize, we like to see our collaboration as seamless, not because it is, but because it strives to be. How does one attribute an idea or a piece of art that comes out of conversation, argument, and battling out differences? This is a consideration that we carry into places we traverse where the drive is often to see landscape in elements that make the scene—a pulling apart, as it were, before things are put back together. Our pursuits tend to take us “behind the scene” in an effort to uncover the frameworks, representational regimes, and infrastructures that go into making the scene.

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