TAIS Artist in Residence Program focuses on research & production in animation, and is designed to offer opportunities for artists to expand and develop their practices and create independent work. Residency Artists also present their work to the public through artist talks and workshops.

Pallavi Agarwala

TAIS’ 2017 International Artist in Residence

Presented in collaboration with SAVAC

In partnership with The Theatre Centre



Pallavi Agarwala is an illustrator and animator from New Delhi, India. After working as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator in India, she completed her Masters at the Royal College of Art (London, UK) on the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship in 2016. Agarwala’s work draws upon the poetic language of animated documentaries as means to reconstruct narratives. With a focus on the lives of people in modern cities, she is interested in addressing and representing the underrepresented in her work. Using experimental techniques in drawing, film, and collage ‘cut-ups’ to visually construct metaphors regarding disruption and change, Agarwala believes in approaching subjects with humour and plurality. Considering this as vital to her process and to her efforts to represent the notion of the ‘other’ she is also interested in thinking about the future of cites and how this theme of difference is experienced within urban environments.




Plans for the Residency:

For Agarwala’s new work, to be developed in studio at TAIS, she will draw from the narratives of migration by political refugees. Agarwala will respond to documentation of experiences of recent immigrants to Canada as part of the development of an empathetically-grounded work. Agarwala’s piece will focus on the creation of an immersive stop motion short animated film presenting metaphoric landscapes. Her subject will be the sensory experience of transition, and the feelings that accompany displacement when structures of shelter (homes and communities) and their attendant relationships are threatened or untethered. The film will be narrative-based, and will be presented using large-scale digital projections. Borrowing from the story-telling style of video games, the animation will be set up as a mise-en-scene with a first-person point of view, from the perspective of people in the midst of a journey of migration. The narrative will oscillate between two worlds: the home they left and the home they envision on the horizon. 

Artist Talk + Reception

Saturday, March 18, 2017
Artist Talk:
2pm, in the BMO Incubator @ The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. West

Finale ~ Closing Reception 

Thursday, March 30, 2017
7pm @ TAIS, 1411 Dufferin Street, Unit B
Come out to TAIS for a one-night only presentation of Pallavi Agarwala’s final work, and a closing reception for her residency.


The International Artist Residency is one-month long, taking place in March 2017. The goal for this residency is to develop a new animated work. The selected artist is  awarded $3,500, comprised of $1,500 in-kind towards 1-month of studio space, equipment and resources at TAIS Studios, and $2,000 in cash funding for their project.

The TAIS Artist in Residency Program supports the production of new animated work by artists in TAIS Studios, through a combination of funding and in-kind resources. Annually, the program invites one Canadian artist and one International artist to engage in self-directed research and production towards the completion of a new independent animated film, video, or project. The residency includes a combination of monetary funding and in-kind use of studio space, equipment and resources at TAIS Studios.



 SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) is a committed co-presenter with TAIS for Pallavi Agarwala’s residency. SAVAC is the only non-profit, artist-run centre in Canada dedicated to supporting South Asian artists. For over two decades, they have increased the visibility of culturally diverse artists by curating and exhibiting their work, providing mentorship, and facilitating professional development. SAVAC’s mission is to produce programs that explore issues and ideas shaping the identities and experiences of people from the region and its diasporas. They encourage work that is challenging, experimental and engaged in critical discussions that offer new perspectives on the contemporary world. For more information about SAVAC visit www.savac.net


About The Theatre Centre

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The Theatre Centre is a nationally recognized live-arts incubator that serves as a research and development hub for the cultural sector. We are a public space, open and accessible to the people of our community, where citizens can imagine, debate, celebrate, protest, unite and be responsible for inventing the future.

The Theatre Centre’s mission is to nurture artists, invest in ideas and champion new work and new ways of working. The company fosters a culture of innovation by embracing risk and questioning traditional notions of failure and success. For more information on The Theatre Centre, visit: www.theatrecentre.org



To read about past residency recipients, click HERE>>

TAIS Artist Residency program is currently seeking private or public patronage. The Toronto Animated Image Society is a Registered Charity #85235 3538 RR0001. To inquire, contact Jenn Snider, Managing Director, jenn@tais.ca