Moving Patterns at the National Geographic Society


Moving Patterns is my drawing installation, at the Royal Geographical Society showing from May 7th-May 21st . It bears witness to the way in which pattern and ornament are laden with meaning and memory in both colonial and post-colonial times and is part of the Fashioning Diaspora Space project with the Victoria & Albert Museum, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

With a focus on ornament, I explore the processes of material cultural exchange between Britain and South Asia in a visual re-imagining of the relations between place, identity and national cultures, featuring guest artists Nilesh Mistry, Samar Abbas, Sumi Perera, Anjana Patel, Nagat El-Mahi, Jagmohan Bangani and Punam Sharma.

My work is primarily concerned with research into the visual representation of the experience of the contemporary cosmopolitan city. I focus is on urban pattern and ornament which codes places and things, fills them with meaning, suffuses them with memory, and badges identities.

Between Britain and South Asia in particular, textile patterns have shuttled back and forth; this exhibition explores this entanglement of cultures and the way it is shaping our urban environment. The installation seeks to enact the re-framings and recontextualisations of identities in the cosmopolitan city, in evoking such sites as the street, the shop, the museum, and the way mobile, mutable pattern flows between them in a process of endless becoming, like cities themselves.

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