Homelands: A 21st Century Story of Home, Away, and All the Places In Between

Kanika Pruthi of Saffronart ponders over the multiple identities and many homes of the global citizen, prompted by the ongoing exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Bengaluru, India

New York: This summer sees the arrival of the much awaited travelling exhibition titled Homelands: A 21st Century Story of Home, Away, and All the Places In Between to the National Gallery of Modern Art in Bengaluru. British Council’s flagship art project for the year 2013 the exhibition features over 80 works by 28 international artists. Having shown in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, it has received over 50,000 visitors already.

Homelands Catalogue

Homelands Catalogue. Image Credit: http://www.homelandsindia.com/Catalogue

Curated by Latika Gupta, the exhibition derives from the extensive collection of the British Council, UK’s international agency for educational and cultural relations in India. The selection of contemporary British artists, including nine Turner Prize winners and nominees, present the viewer with an eclectic take on a relevant and globally shared theme- that of identity. Four of the showcasing artists visiting India include Mona Hatoum, Anthony Haughey, Zineb Sedira and Suki Dhanda. As expressed on their website “the show excavates the idea of a ‘homeland’ to reveal a rich plurality of meaning; ideas of belonging, alienation, history and memory.”


Sukhi Dhanda, Untitled, 2002

Sukhi Dhanda, Untitled, 2002. Image Credit: http://www.homelandsindia.com/Suki-Dhanda

Sukhi Dhanda, Untitled, 2002

Sukhi Dhanda, Untitled, 2002. Image Credit: http://www.homelandsindia.com/Suki-Dhanda

Latika Gupta aptly words the identity crisis faced by many and succinctly dealt by the artists in this exhibition.  “Today, many of us move across national boundaries. We are born in one country, we make another our home. In the criss-crossing of political, social and cultural borders, we live our lives through hyphenated identities: belonging here and there; inhabiting multiple places – both physical and metaphorical. Geographies that can be mapped as inter/national boundaries and as places conjured up by through remembering and imagining,”


Anthony Haughey, Untitled, 1991-92

Anthony Haughey, Untitled, 1991-92. Image Credit: http://www.homelandsindia.com/Anthony-Haughey

The British Council initiative has been lauded for its effort to strengthen public-private partnership to provide a new funding model for the arts in India. This exhibition is supported by Jaguar, Christie’s and Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited.

Homelands is accompanied by a diverse outreach program that includes artist talks, seminars, curator-led walks, outreach activities and workshops. The exhibition runs from July 6 to August 14 at the NGMA, Bengaluru.

India Art Fair 2013: A Great Success

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart reflects on an interesting article on the India Art Fair by Girish Shahane

India Art Fair

India Art Fair. Image Credit: http://www.indiaartfair.in/

London: For people who like me sadly could not make it to the India Art Fair 2013, Girish Shahane, Mumbai based art critic and curator, wrote an interesting blog post about the exhibit.

Comparing this edition to last year’s, the author notes that the fair was much clearer on its purposes and better organized. Some international galleries such as Houser and Wirth, Lisson and White Cube preferred not to join the fair again, partly because of the stringent Indian regulations and partly because they found the market underdeveloped. However, this withdrawal was not necessarily a negative move since it opened up space for other galleries such as Daniel Besseiche who was showing Bangladeshi artist Ahmed Shahabuddin and was appreciated by the Indian art lovers.

Shahane pointed out that this year the fair was more accessible to everyone. The subject matter of the exhibited works was more easily recognizable and the colours and visible skills of the artists took over from last year’s conceptual works which were appreciated only by a few. In addition, the occurrence of many galleries in one place was a great time saver for the people looking to purchase artwork but who didn’t want to spend the entire day roaming around Delhi or Mumbai.

Although this year the art fair was made for a wider audience, many events and parallel exhibitions were organized around Delhi for the art experts. A Nasreen Mohamedi Retrospective was held at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and other exhibitions at the British Council, IGNCA, National Gallery of Modern Art, Khoj Artist’s Workshop and the Devi Art Foundation.

The only drawback was that the last of the three pavilions at the fair was not as good as as the others, but still managed to attract many lesser-known art dealers.

All in all, the fair has been a great success for the galleries, viewers and the organizers, perhaps a sign that the economy is slowly raising up again.

Click here to read the full Girish Shahane’s blog post.

Homelands: Raising Questions of Identity

Sneha Sikand of Saffronart on an upcoming travelling exhibition of Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection

HomelandsImage credit: www.britishcouncil.in

Image credit: British Council

New Delhi: On view from 22 January at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is a collection of eighty works by twenty eight leading modern and contemporary artists from Britain. The works are from the art collection of the British Council and the show has been curated by  Latika Gupta. With a growing number of people moving away from their roots and places of origin, ‘homeland’ is a widely discussed concept. In this exhibit Gupta tries to raise questions about “what constitutes a homeland”.

“Is it ethnicity, language, religion, customs and beliefs. Are homelands those in which our ancestors were born? What of outsiders who live and make other lands their homes? Where do we really belong? Where is it that we hope to one day return?” Gupta asks.

Image Credit: British Council

Image Credit: British Council

The exhibition will travel across four Indian cities – New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai. Four of the showcased artists will be visiting the exhibition in India, including Mona Hatoum, Anthony Haughey, Zineb Sedira and Suki Dhanda. During their stay, the artists will engage with audiences, give public talks and conduct workshops.

Read more about the upcoming exhibit here.

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