Ms. Kanchan Wali-Richardson  
Fulbright-Nehru Project Title: “Holy City Stairs: The Ghats of Varanasi”
Field of Study: Sculpture
Home Institution in the U.S.: The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY
Host Institution in India: Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh  
Start Date/Month in India: August 2014
Duration of Grant: Nine months

Brief Bio:
Ms. Kanchan Wali-Richardson attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City, graduating with a BFA in 2012. After graduation she worked both as a professional artist and as a designer and fabricator of custom furniture. Her works have been exhibited in New York and Los Angeles, most recently in the exhibition Shed Skin. Drawing from a wide range of inspirations and interests, her work focuses on her personal relationship to the politics and social effects of environmental issues, especially the links between religious belief and environmental action.

Ms. Wali-Richardson is creating a series of sculptures based on a creative examination of the ghats, expansive steps that descend to the Ganges River throughout the city of Varanasi. Through the study of their stunning visual presence, history, symbolism, and use, the ghats are informing Ms. Wali-Richardson’s research into two confluent facets of the river: the transcendent and the ecological.