Tara Books

Residency brief

Tara Books is an independent publisher of illustrated books for adults and children based in Chennai, in southern India. Founded in 1994, it operates as a group of dedicated writers, designers, and artists who strive to produce rich quality content. Tara Books has worked extensively with different kinds of artists – ranging from indigenous communities in India to those who are from European art traditions.

Tara Books is also known to experiment with various forms of the book, and with production techniques – including their signature handmade silk-screen printed titles. Tara Books offers a residency programme for artists (Arts Residency Programme) and encourages creators and designers from around the world to participate. This is part of the publisher’s contribution to the establishment of a global culture of books and arts. In this context, Tara Books will host a French illustrator or designer to work on their book project in close collaboration with Tara Books, to culminate in a publication.

  • Thematic focus Children’s book / Artist’s Book / Design / Graphic Novel
  • Location Auroville, (Tamil Nadu)
  • Dates September 2023 - March 2024.
  • Length of stay 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the scope of the project

Our Space

Auroville, (Tamil Nadu)

The residency will be on the outskirts of Auroville (within a 1.5 km radius) in an organic farm/design retreat called Cashew Cottage. The farm grows organic food, has a flower garden, and is designed on a sustainability principle with complete waste water recycling, and solar power. It is home to dogs, cows and free-range chickens. There is adequate studio space in the living quarters for day-to-day work. The place is within a cycling distance to Auroville, and there is plenty to discover and explore in the various communities there: yoga, music, art, theatre.

Gita Wolf, the publisher of Tara Books lives in the downstairs cottage from the residency rooms, and will be happy to mentor the resident. She also travels to Chennai regularly, around once in 2 weeks, and the resident can accompany her to Book Building, Tara Books’ space in Chennai. They can also travel on their own there, and even stay for a few days to interact with the other members of the publishing house.

Our Laureates

Chiara Armellini Children’s Book Author

With Tuttifrutti, I would like to develop a children’s game-book with a first part dedicated to words, adjectives and all the bizarre characteristics attributed to fruits; a second part dedicated to the graphic study of completely imaginary and invented fruits. The book can become a game to compose visual and word poems, to free the imagination and to play at inventing magical fruit.

Chiara Armellini is an Italian illustrator who lives and works in Paris. She studied graphic design and illustration at the ISIA (Institut Supérieur d'Arts Appliqués) in Urbino (Italy) and at the Massana School in Barcelona. Her illustrations have been selected for the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2010 and 2012 and for other major illustration competitions. Her work has been exhibited in Tokyo, New York, Paris and Milan. In 2021 she was awarded a CNL grant to develop an illustrated book for the visually impaired. For several years now, she has been running creative workshops for children in libraries, bookshops, museums and schools, in France and Italy. She writes her comics at the heart of her workshops and daily activities, through direct interaction with the children.