the FIRE HOUSE

‘my life as a bird’ - Madi Acharya-Baskerville
10 - 26 September 21

Opening Event - 9th September 5.30 - 9pm - all welcome
please join us for a glass of champagne

Artist Talk / Q and A - 26 September 12pm

View Exhibition Artworks

‘Madi Acharya-Baskerville’s solo show, ‘My Life as a Bird’, provides us with an unrivalled opportunity to see an extraordinary artist whose work has a delicate yet powerful ability to provoke outrage at our devastating environmental destruction, long before it became the zeitgeist that it is today. She is part of the new wave of British-Asian diaspora artists and is utterly unique in the way she combines a delicious mixture of randomly hoarded everyday things we throw away, with a generous helping of irony and humour, critiquing consumption and South Asian-ness.’ - Uthra Rajgopal

Madi Acharya-Baskerville is an artist whose work is concerned with the synthesis of unlikely elements. Using objects, textiles, song, conversation and magazine cuttings that resonate with her Indian origin, she creates works which move fluidly between different media. Her paintings refer to a sense of loss, a nostalgia for lost origins, while simultaneously hinting at new beginnings, discovering new places; some of which are within our imagination, being collaged from experiences rather than a product of stark reality.
The found surface itself has a past, marked, textured, battered, worn out – hence marking time, whilst the irregular edges suggest a continuity beyond what can be viewed.

Alongside a combination of mixed media and sculptural works, Madi has create. a new series inspired by birds. The series of mixed media sculptural works was inspired by coming across a journal which had an image of a dissected sea gull’s stomach.
The image showed all the of items that the sea gull had swallowed during its life span, and included numerous pieces of plastic. Taking this image a step further, a new species is being created where the birds have swallowed so much plastic that parts of their anatomy are composed of plastic, so they come to have plastic beaks, wings, feet and so on.

Madi has recently been awarded the prestigious 'Developing Your Creative Practice' grant by Arts Council England. This grant will enable her to develop her skills in Ceramics and she will also be able to explore Museum Collections, which continue to inspire her.
In addition to this, the grant will enable her to engage in reciprocal studio visits with a view to future collaborations with artists from different regions. Madi’s work has also been recently acquired by The Whitworth, and will be going into their collections.

This exhibition will also feature a film exploring Madi’s proccess by filmaker Nicola Josse and an essay by Textile Curator Uthra Rajgopal, an Independent Curator with a specialist interest in South Asian textiles. In 2019, Uthra won the prestigious Art Fund New Collecting Award to build a collection of contemporary textile artworks for the Whitworth in Manchester, specifically artworks made by women artists working in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and the UK diaspora.

 

What We Leave Behind

Uthra Rajgopal
Independent Curator
Specialist in South Asian Dress, Textiles and Textile Art

To enter the world of the artist, Madi Acharya-Baskerville, is to enter the world of a playful activist. Tread softly for these works are precious, a coalescence of scavenged scraps and deformed debris. Her materials are the remnants from the regurgitation of mass production and rapacious consumption, washed up on coastlines and rivers. This is her playground. With a licence to mudlark, a roving eye and rummaging fingers, this artist, a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors, combines found materials and objects that have been partially destroyed, discarded, retrieved and handed down which in turn are carefully assembled into fantastical kitsch relics. They confront us with alarming familiarity. The things we throw out come back to haunt us. As humans continue to exhaust the earth’s natural resources, the environmental waste we cause creates life-threatening toxic pollution. This is what we leave behind.

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