Although we do like to bring in acts from around the Uk & further afield, above all else we want to nurture creative talent from right here in Preston. Long term we would like to develop a programme of training and network of opportunities that encourages people to consider starting a career in the creative industries. Also in May, during lockdown, we launched our online talent competition to find South Asian creative talent in the city of Preston. We were delighted with the response, with lots of great entries that showed a range of creative talents. As ever in these things it was extremely difficult for the judges to choose the ones they felt stood out from the others. Ultimately they concluded the following results:
Winner – Ria Prasad
Ria is 15 years old. She is a natural painter and a talented classical & Bollywood dancer. For Preston City Mela Talent search, Ria chose to paint an image (see below) which can tie together both her hand in art and her passion for dance. She created an exquisite painting of Kathakali dancer. Kathakali is one of the major forms of classical dance in India and is a story play genre of art, but one distinguished by the elaborately colorful make-up, costumes and face masks.
She says “My creative journey started from when I got my first set of colour pencils. My family says I’ve always been drawn towards colours and art- my grandparent’s house is full of my art along the years. From scribbles on the walls from when I was 3 to the recent painting of flowers I did last year on a bedroom wall, there are pieces of my growth as an artist scattered everywhere”
Runner up – Dr.A N Prasad
Dr.AN.Prasad is a neurosurgeon by profession and an artist by passion.He has been trying to bring out the beauty in every little thing that he came across since his teenage. He says “ Professionally it is extremely demanding mentally emotionally and physically… Creative art is my way of relaxing and unwinding”. For Preston City Mela Talent search, he created an exquisite woodcarving of a sparrow made out of birch log on which he worked intermittently for 5 weeks. The image of a sparrow brought fond memories of his childhood back in south India.
Runner up – Meghna Nair
Meghna Nair is a passionate dance enthusiast with more than 13 years of experience in Kuchipudi classical dance and Bollywood. She has performed on many stages, in different cities in the UK. She is currently a first year medical student at the University of Leeds and has continued her passion for dance through joining the university’s Bollywood dance society and being selected as Social secretary. For Preston City Mela Talent Search, Meghna created a dance video in which she performed a semi-classical dance with a touch of Kuchipudi classical dance to a beautiful Bollywood song.
Mayor thanks go out to all of our entrants, we really appreciate what it takes to put your work out there and we’d encourage you to keep producing your fine work. Also keep your eyes open for further opportunities through Preston City Mela as its our aim to continue promoting & supporting South Asian creatives in the city. Big thanks also to our 2 judges Nrithya Rammohan & Madhura Godbole for their diligent work.
You can find other images from the online talent competition winners below and films beneath that.
If you have any creative talents that you would like to share with us we would be really keen to hear from you. We are looking to broaden the range of acts that we showcase and are particularly keen to hear from local South Asian people who have skills in comedy, spoken word, creative writing, sculpture, acting, bands (of any type of music), film makers, photographers, fashion designers etc. Whether you are at the start of your career or more experienced. Please contact us by email here or message us on Facebook.