Wednesday, August 8, 2012

‘History is Written by Garment Exporters’

Indian graphic novelist, artist, and filmmaker, Sarnath Banerjee presented an overview of his work, entitled ‘History is Written by Garment Exporters’ at Glasgow-based Centre for Contemporary Arts.  It included both drawings and films

He evolves his novels through periods of research and exhibition, gathering and displaying a bewildering array of material before honing everything down in a publication.  His work draws on artistic genres such as collage and classic book illustration, while exploiting the openness of the contemporary graphic novel as a space to push beyond comic book narrative.  The freedom he finds in these techniques allows him to explore the psyche of modern India, creating images and stories that are accessible and decptively simple.

Since 2004, he has published three major books - Corridor (2004), The Barn Owl's Wondrous Capers (2007) and The Harappa Files (2011).  Through these works he reveals the daily tensions of contemporary India, from the local events of a city neighbourhood, to the pressures of its global economic rise. 

The exhibition brought together works spanning the period 2008- 11, including several key sequences from Sarnath Banerjee's most recent book, ‘The Harappa Files’, of which he states, "This  book is more like an illustrated text.  It opens up the form of graphic novels using design in an imaginative way.  I am imploding the form, I am working with it all the time, constantly playing with it". 

CCA provides a platform for exciting and inspiring cutting edge contemporary visual art, performance, film, music, spoken word and other events. CCA is a hub of experimental creative activity that engages with individuals and communities, contributing to the vibrancy and vitality of cultural life in Glasgow and beyond. The art institution curates six major exhibitions a year, showing a wide range of Scottish and international contemporary art, as well as being home to Intermedia Gallery for emerging artists.

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