Spicing up Scotland’s summer is the Tramway Indian art exhibition, Pehchaan. Running from June 18 to July 31, the show captures India’s new aesthetic ‘identity’.
Glasgow Museums Curator of World Cultures, Patricia Allan said: “Focus on classical art in museums and galleries reinforces a widely-held perception that Indian art is ancient and has no connection with the present.
“Pehchaan opens the door to another India – the dynamic, creative, inspirational art from today’s streets and studios – which is somehow firmly inspired by centuries of tradition.”
The collection features folk art, textiles and contemporary works, alongside material from Glasgow Museums new collection. This collection was acquired (especially for the project) with support from the Art Fund’s RENEW programme and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Bringing the project to life is creative designer Gabriella Marcella, who invigorates the art with public workshops, discussions and activities.
Allan said: “The colour and energy of Gabriella Marcella’s set design adds a buzz and excitement to the immersive event; there’s a surprise around every corner.
“Pehchaan is a fun experience, a snapshot of the sights, sounds and mystery that is India.”
Pehchaan showcases three art traditions: Punjabi painted trucks, West Bengali wax cast brass sculptures and contemporary sculpture from Assam.
Collation of the work and interviews with the artists were filmed, before pieces of the documentary were added to the exhibition.
Allan explained: “The edited excerpts of the film are an important part of the exhibition experience.”
This experience spans two continents and five years of work, shared between Indian curators, Glasgow Museums and community artists.
Allan added: “Pehchaan gives tribal, street and geographically isolated artists from three regions of Northern India a unique opportunity to showcase their skills to a larger audience.”
As well as introducing new art to Glasgow, Pehchaan attempts to introduce new visitors to Glasgow museums.
Allan said: “A key part of the project has been to use this collection to engage with communities who do not normally visit museums. We intended the RENEW collection to be a springboard for creativity, dialogue and imagination.
“Therefore, as part of the project we ran six months of community art workshops inspired by the new collection, culminating in a community event at Scotland Street Museum.”
She concluded: “Community workshops are also part of Pehchaan in a specially designed workshop area within the exhibition space.”
Pehchaan image: Painted truck back with image of lion by Jarnail Singh, 2013.