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image for Exhibition item typeArpita Shah: Nalini at Impressions Gallery

Art Exhibition, Fri 17 Jan - Sat 28 Mar 2020, free entry

 Untitled © Arpita Shah

Untitled © Arpita Shah

Address

Centenary Square,
Bradford,
BD1 1SD

Also at this Venue

Events at this Venue

date event
Fri 17 Jan - Sat 28 Mar Arpita Shah: Nalini

Details

Spanning India, East Africa and the UK, Nalini explores the connected histories of Arpita Shah’s mother, her grandmother and herself. The exhibition reveals ancestral intimacies across space and time, and how their histories, memories and bodies are intertwined.

Nalini is a personal journey for Arpita Shah, which has allowed her to reconnect with the past through her maternal lineage and explore how migration, distance and loss have shaped their lives. The artist herself was born in India, grew up in Saudi Arabia and Ireland, and now lives in Scotland. Shah says, “My grandmother was born in India but grew up in Kenya for 12 years before moving back to India. Although I visit my grandmother every couple of years in India, I have realised how little I really know about what she was like as a young woman, her memories, experiences and what her relationships were like with her own mother and her daughter.”

Shah’s photographic journey led to discoveries of old forgotten family photographs, shared and individual memories of objects, places, and family stories. The portraits physically connect the artist to her mother and grandmother, allowing her to visually explore how connected their lives really are. Her contemplative approach to portraiture reveals telling details: strands of silver hair caught in a lilac plastic comb; the skin of her grandmother’s legs, scarred when her sari caught fire.

The exhibition is titled after Shah’s grandmother, Nalini, a name which has a double meaning. ‘Nalini’ comes from the ancient Sanskrit word meaning ‘lotus’. This iconic plant symbolises purity, femininity and fertility in Hindu culture. The artist performs floral offerings to her mother and grandmother, and some of her images feature symbolically significant flowers adorning old photographs from family albums. A passport photo of Shah’s great-grandmother is decorated by bougainvillea, a plant introduced to India during the British Empire.

The exhibition also includes family heirlooms, such as a sari from East Africa, and a well-travelled suitcase passed between generations. A 1950s image of the Taj Mahal, taken from a battered sweets tin, has been transformed and presented in the gallery as a large mural allowing visitors to imagine themselves in another time and place.

Arpita Shah says, “Nalini explores the intimacy, distance and tensions between the generations of women in my family. I hope that viewers, whatever their background and wherever they come from, will find parallels with their own family story.”

A Street Level Photoworks touring exhibition supported by Creative Scotland and Hope Scott Trust.

Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopPublic toiletsWelcome HostAccepts groupsFacilities for corporate hospitality

There is a lift available to all floors, however, please ring the Welcome Desk on 01274 737843 if you are a wheelchair user visiting alone, for access to the front doors. There is free WiFi Internet access available within the gallery.

Event details

Dates Times
Fri 17 Jan - Sat 28 Mar 2020
Opening times -
Tues-Thurs - 10am-6pm
Fri-Sat - 10am-5pm
Sun-Mon - Closed

Prices

Free entry

Location

Directions

See location of Impressions Gallery on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SE 162329  Lat: 53.79275 Long: -1.75555

Impressions Gallery is in Centenary Square opposite City Hall. We're on the first floor, behind the Big Screen. The nearest disabled parking is behind City Hall or next to the Alhambra Theatre.

Facilities

  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Welcome HostWelcome Host
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality

There is a lift available to all floors, however, please ring the Welcome Desk on 01274 737843 if you are a wheelchair user visiting alone, for access to the front doors. There is free WiFi Internet access available within the gallery.