Soumik Datta

As a British Bengali artist, I am deeply influenced by the great Indian polymath, poet and teacher Rabindranath Tagore. His philosophy lies at the intersection of creativity, nature and arts activism. His work highlights not the individual but the collective voice, rooted in the ecology of social and environmental issues.

Hawkwood Centre reflects all these values. In every aspect of their offering lies deep connections between the nurturing of artists and the protection of the earth as well as its communities. By being able to bring my artist team to Hawkwood, I could recreate a small version of Tagore’s residential atmosphere, supporting my artist team to deliver their highest potential, while engaging them in debates around displacement, identity, climate justice and the role of art today.

During every visit, I feel alive at Hawkwood, surrounded by my peers, supported by the kind venue staff, their nutritious meals, generosity and openness. It is a privilege to be nestled deep in nature, far from the bustle of city life to focus purely – on creativity and collaboration. Over the last two years, delivering my commissions – from British Council, Southbank Centre, BBC Singers, various COP26 related activities and music-led, refugee awareness programmes – would not have been possible without the generosity of the Hawkwood team.

Full credit to Soumik Datta, with thanks to the DCMS & Arts Council England for their funding.


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