Tuesday, July 9, 2013

An Indian artist shines in the UK

Nikhil Chopra has been widely acclaimed for his performances that use a repertoire of characters to unravel the complexities of colonial India and Britain, along with his own history. For ‘Coal on Cotton’, He turns his focus to two materials that made Manchester supremely wealthy in the 19th century - and that continue to hold workers in modern slavery beyond Europe and North America.  This performance was part of Manchester International Festival

Born in 1974 in Kolkata, Nikhil Chopra studied art at Ohio State University and now lives in Goa. His work ‘Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing VIII’ was part of Marina Abramovic Presents... at MIF09. Held over 65 continuous hours in the new Landscape Gallery at the Whitworth, which opened 24 hours a day for the show's duration, his ‘Coal on Cotton’ spanned centuries and continents.

A press release stated: "The show asked its audience to witness and reflect on connections between the lives of our forebears and ourselves, and on the actions that drive power and possession. In a gallery space engulfed by cotton, Chopra's work made connections between Mumbai and Manchester, cities sewn together through Britain’s imperial might."

The Whitworth has been part of the cultural landscape of Manchester since 1889, when it was created as the first English gallery in a park as the Whitworth Institute with a particular focus on works on paper, world textiles and wallpapers has been a key feature at the Whitworth.

At the same time the Gallery has developed a reputation for the quality of its work with children and young people. It has long been at the forefront of digital collection access - being the first gallery in the UK to make its collection available online; and it has an esteemed reputation for the quality of its collections care and access.

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