Seagull curates and presents art exhibitions, but it functions differently from a commercial gallery in important ways. Firstly, profit is not a consideration since art is not a business for Seagull. Several exhibitions break even, others do not break even, yet others make money for the Seagull Foundation: any monies generated from one exhibition help support the next. This allows Seagull the flexibility to approach exhibitions differently from the commercial gallery, which has to consider profits and losses. In other cases, Seagull has chosen to focus on a so-called ‘non-saleable’ aspect or area of an artist’s work, which commercial galleries are reluctant to exhibit.
Seagull chooses to present an artist’s work only if it is convinced that it can intervene qualitatively and make a positive difference to the aesthetics of the exhibition in some way. Decisions of an artistic nature are left to the artist, or worked out together with the artist. The artist is allowed total freedom. The entire undertaking is seen as a partnership. Care is taken over the aesthetics, such as the exhibition design, invitation card, catalogue or brochure, and display. These are the inputs that Seagull sees as its contribution. Seagull has worked closely with artists like Somnath Hore, Reba Hore, Meera Mukherjee, K. G. Subramanyan, Lalu Shaw, Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Jogen Chowdhury, Chittrovanu Mazumdar.
Artist’s books: Seagull’s relationship with artists extends beyond exhibitions into another form of dissemination, publishing. Children’s stories written and illustrated by Meera Mukherjee, Somnath Hore’s Tebhaga Diary, graphic fables written, illustrated and designed by K. G. Subramanyan, are amongst the artists’ books published by Seagull.
Art history publications: In an attempt to contribute to art scholarship and theory, Seagull has brought out several theoretical/critical and historical works in this area. These include Woodcut Prints of 19th Century Calcutta which was accompanied by an exhibition; The Collected Papers of Gurusaday Dutt, the great folk-art collector of colonial India, The Living Tradition and Creative Circuit by K. G. Subramanyan.