SPEAKERS: BISHI | PREM SAHIB | REHANA ZAMAN | PRIYESH MISTRY
APHRA SHEMZA | STUART FAROMARZ BATCHELOR
Recently there has been a rethinking of the importance of migrant voices within British Art History. First generation British South Asian artists like Anwar Jalal Shemza and Rasheed Araeen have been included in museum exhibitions globally and art history books are being rewritten and rethought. These changes make it possible for new conversations to take place - a new dialogue for the 21st Century around the legacy of South Asian migration and its impact on contemporary arts practitioners working in the UK today.
Using the National Gallery’s collection as a starting point for discussion, Shifting Ground invited a number of key media artists to present their work exploring identity, cultural heritage and migration. We discussed how South Asian cultural heritage informs their artistic practice and how the use of new technologies enables them to work in innovative and groundbreaking ways. We considered the impact and legacy that South Asian migration has had on contemporary British culture and celebrated the rich and diverse voices within the media art scene.
Shifting Ground was curated by Aphra Shemza who has the unique position of being a direct South Asian artist descendent and introduced by Priyesh Mistry, Associate Curator of Modern & Contemporary Projects, National Gallery, alongside the launch of shemza.digital by Aphra Shemza & Stuart Batchelor and artist presentations by Prem Sahib, Rehana Zaman and BISHI.
About the Curator
Aphra Shemza: Curator and Co-Founder Art in Flux & Artist
@aphrashemza | www.aphrashemza.com
Aphra Shemza is a London-based multimedia artist and curator. She is also co-founder of Art in Flux and Manager of the Estate of Anwar Jalal Shemza (her grandfather). Inspired by her grandfather, her work explores Modernism, her Islamic cultural heritage, sustainable practice and creating art for all. As an artist and activist, she finds ambitious ways to fuse methodologies from the past with new innovations in technology to imagine what the role of art could be in the future.
Shemza has recently been awarded an Arts Council England Grant for her new project shemza.digital. The project invites the public to be a part of a new interactive artwork based on the work of Anwar Jalal Shemza and is a collaboration between Aphra Shemza and Stuart Batchelor.
Shemza has created many commissions: Synphonica 2.0 for the Canary Wharf Group, Heart Beats of Cristal for Champagne Louis Roederer, Seconds Pass for Save the Children, GlaxoSmithKline and Anagram and Post-Truth and Beauty commissioned by Morley College. She exhibits regularly with recent highlights including V&A Digital Design Weekend, Winter Lights Festival, The Other Art Fair and Xi’an Maker Faire with the British Council. She has also participated in public speaking events, notably at Tate Britain, the British Library and The Courtauld Institute. In 2016 she contributed an article to Tate Etc magazine about the life and work of her grandfather and has received coverage in the Times, Telegraph, London Live, Timeout, GQ and FAD Magazine.
About the Speakers
Prem Sahib: Artist
Prem Sahib, born in London in 1982 and lives and works in London.
Selected solo exhibitions include Descent, Southard Reid, London, 2019/2020, 500 sq ft, Art Night curated by the Hayward Gallery, London, 2018, Heron, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, 2017, Balconies, Kunstverein in Hamburg, 2017, Grand Union, Grand Union, Birmingham, 2016, Side On, ICA London, 2015 and group exhibitions Queer Abstraction, Des Moines Art Centre, Iowa, 2019, United by AIDS : An Exhibition about Loss, Remembrance, Activism and Art in Response to HIV/AIDS, Migros Museum, Zurich, 2019, Queer Spaces: London 1980s – Today, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2019, The Hoodie, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, 2019, Cruising Pavilion, 16th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2018, CRUISING, Curated by Elise Lammer, SALTS, Birsfelden, Switzerland, 2018, ISelf Collection: Self-Portrait as the Billy Goat, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2017, Secret Surface, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2017, Britain Can Make It, Hayward Gallery, London, 2015, Burning Down The House, Gwangju Biennale, Korea, 2014. Recent performance and site specific works include Cruising Pompeii as part of DEATH, curated by Milovan Farronato, Fiorucci Art Trust, Pompeii / Stromboli, Italy, 2019 and Modern Nature, La Becque, La Tour-de-Peliz, Switzerland, 2019. Two works by Sahib, Do You Care? We do and Helix, were acquired by Tate Galleries in 2018. Sahib’s work is also included in the Government Art Collection, UK, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway, MONA, Tasmania, Australia.
BISHI: Artist, musician and founder of WITCiH
http://bishi.co.uk | @bishiofficial
Four Octave Singer, electric Sitarist, producer & composer, BISHI was born in London of Bengali heritage. Bishi is the founder of WITCiH: The Women in Technology Creative Industries Hub, a platform to elevate the voices of Womxn in Tech.
A classically trained, multi-instrumentalist, she studied the sitar under Gaurav Mazumdar a senior disciple of Ravi Shankar. Bishi's commissions for the stage have included The London Symphony Orchestra, Yoko Ono’s Meltdown, The Science Gallery & collaborations with Sean Ono Lennon, Daphne Guinness, Tony Visconti & the City of London Sinfonia as a Tanpura soloist of Jonny Greenwood’s ‘Water.’
A passionate advocate for diversity in the music industry & the gender equality of women in tech, Bishi has been a broadcaster on BBC Radio 4 and a panelist & lead speaker for Nile Roger’s Meltdown, Tate Modern, Saffron Records & Spitfire Audio. Her new single ‘Don’t Shoot The Messenger,’ produced by Tony Visconti, is out on all streaming platforms now.
Rehana Zaman: Artist
https://lux.org.uk/artist/rehana-zaman | @_RehanaZaman
Rehana Zaman (b. Heckmondwike) is an artist based in London. She works predominantly with moving image to examine how social dynamics are produced and performed. Her work speaks to the entanglement of personal experience and social life, where intimacy is framed against state coercion and bio politics. Recent and upcoming exhibitions British Art Show 9 (2021), Serpentine Projects, London, UK (2020) and Liverpool Biennial 2018. Her films have been shown at Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018, India; Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival; Sheffield Doc/Fest; ICA Miami, USA; SAVAC, Canada; Oberhausen Film Festival, Germany; Whitechapel, London and Bétonsalon Paris. In 2019 she co-edited Tongues with Taylor Le Melle published by PSS and curated The Range; a group exhibition at Eastside Projects, Birmingham. She was shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award in 2019 and her films are distributed by LUX Artist Moving Image.
Stuart Faromarz Batchelor: Computer Artist
@sfbatchelor_ | www.sfbatchelor.com
Stuart Faromarz Batchelor is a London-based painter and computer artist who combines traditional media with custom software to create still, moving and interactive work that explores future aesthetics and the relationship between data, nature and our perception of meaning.
He has developed real-time public installations for clients such as Morgan Stanley, IMAX, Samsung, Tate and Ford and actively exhibits around the world. Currently, Batchelor focuses on public art projects, private commissions and commercial artwork.
Alongside this, Batchelor actively publishes papers and research centring on the development of code combined with physical and intuitive drawing. By linking painting with building experimental software, Batchelor creates paintings that are much more than just a surface; they are interactive applications, animated, audible, data-driven and inter-medial.