This exhibition combines selected works produced in collaboration between myself and different communities within local, national and international settings. It demonstrates an ambition to integrate work produced by artists and the communities they represent.

 

The centrepiece installation entitled, ‘Samsara’, (previously Liberation/Moksha), is new work created as part of my Leverhulme artist residency at the University of Leicester. More than 100 individuals from new, settled and indigenous communities contributed towards the production of this collaborative artwork. It symbolises the skill and integrity of manual labour while representing identity, community, belonging and the collective struggle towards freedom. The sandals were donated by female workers from Ramapir no Tekro slum in Ahmedabad, India. Each woman was compensated ₹100 per pair. The women predominantly work as ‘rag-pickers’ in Gujarat, earning around £1.20 (₹100) per day. ‘Samsara’ was funded by The Leicester City Council’s Community Engagement Fund.

 

‘Connecting Cultures’ (2016), was an initiative to foster creativity, friendship and cross-cultural learning between children (aged 8-11) from two ethnically diverse schools in Leicestershire. One of three fabric tapestries contain stories contributed by over 100 students from rural and urban areas.

 

Commissioned by The New Art Exchange; Nottingham, ‘a rebel scene’ (2016) is a collaborative experiment in art and in the representation of political activism. Ideas were developed through research, group discussions and creative workshops which explored how existing text and visual material can be used to create spaces for expression and resistance. A joint commission with artist and curator Sunil Shah.

 

‘Vanasthali’ video (2013) highlights Kajal’s long term vision to facilitate an ongoing cultural exchange, so that urban migrant children can retain knowledge and/or learn about agriculture. In doing this, Kajal wants to preserve and build upon the tribal knowledge of her ancestor’s agrarian way of life in Gujarat, India. Featuring work by over 200 participants, produced between 2013 – 2016.

 
Lightseekers creative social enterprise uses and storytelling to encourage social participation and to encourage the use of art as a form of nonviolent action. We facilitate ordinary people to become agents of change through the act of observation and participation.
Show ends 5th Feb 2017.

photography © David Wilson Clarke