Decolonial Approaches


Decolonial Approaches: Materials, Pattern, Making

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

How can art and design help unpack our collective histories?

In response to her new work The Golden Fibre for our Scottish Design Galleries, Montreal-based artist Swapnaa Tamhane will be in conversation with artists Raisa Kabir (based in London) and Hannah Sabapathy (based in Dundee) to explore how contemporary creatives are embedding decolonial approaches in their work.

Together they will explore the significance of the making process, the political power of pattern and material choices, and how artists and designers can reinterpret archives and objects to further the decolonisation of our collective histories.

Co-curated by V&A Dundee and Mother Tongue, Swapnaa Tamhane’s The Golden Fibre is the newest commission in our Scottish Design Galleries and explores the context of jute during British colonialism and the lives of workers in and around Calcutta in British-ruled Bengal (now a region split between India and Bangladesh).

The commission was created in partnership with the University of Dundee Archives Services and Verdant Works (Dundee Heritage Trust). Explore our range of online resources, including images and documents from the archives that have inspired the work.

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

12.00 - 13.00

Juniper Auditorium

Free, but booking required

About the speakers:

Swapnaa Tamhane (@swapnaatamhane) works to destabilise and untether colonial constructs as an artist, curator, and writer. Working between Canada and India, she works with drawing, textiles, handmade paper, text, and sculpture. She has exhibited at the Royal Ontario Museum and A Space Gallery in Toronto, articule in Montreal, and the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa. Her interests in craft and design led to the publication of ‘SĀR: The Essence of Indian Design’, published by Phaidon Press (2016). Currently, alongside the commission at V&A Dundee, she has a solo exhibition (Mobile Palace) on view at ROM, Toronto, curated by Deepali Dewan.

Raisa Kabir (@RaisaKabir_Textiles ) is an artist and weaver, who utilises woven text/textiles, sound, video and performance. Her (un)weaving performances comment on trans national power, global production, and the relationships between craft and industrial labour. She has exhibited work at The Whitworth, Glasgow International, CCA Glasgow, The Tetley, British Textile Biennial, Liverpool Biennial, Craft Council Gallery London, and Ford Foundation Gallery, New York.

Hannah Sabapathy (@studioplica) trained at the Royal College Art as a printed textiles designer. Her practice focuses on pattern and colour. Her work ranges from small scale jewellery pieces to large sculptural furniture. Recently as part of the UAL 20/20 Residency she has begun to research and examine the impact of colonialism on South Asian textile design whilst exploring themes of hybridity and appropriation. She is based in Dundee.

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