Friday, June 08, 2018

The Singh Twins at The Queen's Gallery

This week I saw an art work by The Singh Twins. I'm not entirely why they hadn't registered on my art radar before now - but I'm now very interested to find out more.

Part of the triptych with The Singh Twins bottom right in the boat
Below is the artwork I saw - which was specially commissioned to accompany - Splendours of the Sub-Continent which opened this week at the Queen's Gallery (Buckingam Palace)  -  and which has also been touring the UK prior to coming to London.

This comprises three exhibitions in one:
Their artwork
"explores the interconnected themes of maritime trade and exploration, cultural exchange, British Empire, colonialism, as well as its legacies."
The Singh Twins Triptych
The image really doesn't give the impression of absolutely glowing colour created by this digital artwork.

The artwork is a triptych and includes two side panels relating to the years 1600-1857 (headed up by Queen Elizabeth 1) and the period 1857-1947 (headed up by Queen Victoria)

I came home and looked up the reason why the dates for the first panel are 1600-1857 - and, as I suspected 1857 was the year of the Indian Rebellion. I already knew that 1947 was the year of the Partition of India and very many massacres.....

1600-1857
The middle panel includes various references to aspects of England including the Great Exhibition - when a great interest was generated in Indian culture and artifacts.  This one is packed full of symbols and metaphor and I need a handbook to sort it all out!

The UK as a home to Indian Culture. Don't miss the reference to "Britain's got talent"!
This artwork needs a small booklet to explain the huge number of symbolic references - I think I probably got about a third of them!

1858-1947: This panel needs to come with a 'Reader'!
I'm interested to find out more about the The Singh Twins. Below are a couple of videos about:
  • (from 2010) about how they came to become artists
  • a Tate video from 2016 about their artwork which comments on the appropriation of British and Indian culture within the UK
I recommend viewing them - they're absolutely fascinating and very articulate about the motivations behind their artwork - and make some exceptionally good points!

The best way I can describe them in shorthand is  that they are the female Sikh version of Grayson Perry commenting on culture, society and the variation in how people from different backgrounds behave - except they work in the style of Indian miniature artworks.



2 comments:

  1. I came across their work for the first time in Liverpool in March of this year. Wonderfully vibrant and detailed- seeing it online doesn’t do it justice.

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  2. The Singh Twins recently had a wonderful exhibition in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; unfortunately now finished. I was tremendously impressed with both their traditional work and the new digital addition to their practice. These artists are well worth following.

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