Anindita Banerjee, Bhiktoria’s Secrets, 2022, interactive performance installation. Photo Karan Mistry.
Anindita Banerjee, Bhiktoria’s Secrets, 2022, interactive performance installation. Photo Karan Mistry.
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EPAR OPAR

6 July 2024 - 8 September 2024

Curator: Anindita Banerjee

Artist(s): Anindita Banerjee, Mita Chowdhury, Neel Banerjee, Nira Rahman, Rakini Devi, Sharmin huq Sangeeta, Shinjita Roy, Tasmina Khan Majles.

Location: The Atrium

This exhibition brings together 8 Bengali artists based in Australia who explore the enduring impact of British colonialism on Bengali identity. The colonial partition created between Bangladesh and West Bengal divided the region along cultural and religious lines. The artists are motivated to untangle colonial legacies to collectively reimagine these boundaries through a nuanced perspective on identity within the diaspora.

ANINDITA BANERJEE, a twice uprooted Indian, is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher. She lives and works on the lands of the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nation. Her research interest includes cultural othernessauthentic identity and the sense of home. The memories of ritualistic ceremonies and mark-makings and her reconstruction of them informs her practice. Using gestural portrayals of hybrid rituals, she wonders where her place is as an immigrant to the unceded indigenous lands of present day Australia. Through her work, she tests the existence of cultural otherness and challenges the notion of fitting in to sociocultural spaces literally and metaphorically. She has exhibited at the Victoria Parliament Melbourne, Customs House Sydney, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and various other institutions and galleries. Last year, her solo, Home and Away, was held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata. She was also part of an exhibition at the Palazzo Bembo Gallery in Venice in conjunction with the Venice Biennale 2019.

 

NEEL BANERJEE is an intercultural theatre practitioner based in Sydney, Australia. Neel's work involves cultural development, community engagement, education and training through live performing theatre. He works amongst culturally and linguistically diverse actors, creatives and audiences. His work involves: 

  • (a) spreading theatre among the immigrant community. 
  • (b) bringing untold stories to the Australian stage using South Asian Theatre aesthetics and, 
  • (c) using theatre as a device to propagate awareness on various issues affecting communities.  

 

NIRUPOMA RAHMAN (PhD) is a passionate vocalist and musician and an academic researcher working around educational design and student engagement in higher education by profession. She proudly practices the principles of the Agra Gharana’s music and regularly performs Classical, Semiclassical and Bangla Music (especially Nazrul, Tagore and Raagpradhan songs). Her music is enthused by her passion for literature and culture; inspired by the gurus (like Vidushi Dipali Nag, Pandit Barin Majumder, Wahidul Huq) she has enjoyed the tutelage of from a very young age and stimulated by her academic work around language, culture and representation of identity 

 

MITA CHOWDHURY is Bangladeshi-Australian multidisciplinary artist with a principal focus on painting. Connecting her present geographical and social location on Bunurong and Waddawurrung Country, Mita reflects on her sense of disconnect from the cultural landscapes of both her traditional Bangladeshi and Australian migrant-settler identities. Working with materials carefully selected for their metaphoric meaning and cultural specificity, she paints with botanic dyes created from native leaves and wattle referencing her experiences as a migrant on Country. Mita also draws heavily on the history and the materiality of the Saree – the traditional attire of South-Asian and Bangladeshi women, reimagined in this exhibition as a canvas for her large-scale portrait painting and installation practice. Mita is the recipient of the RMIT Cultural Vision Grant Scholarship 2022 and is undertaking her Masters of Fine Art at RMIT University. 

 

Kolkata born RAKINI DEVI (PhD) is an Australian independent artist with an Indian- Burmese heritage. She is a multidisciplinary artist, integrating her knowledge of Indian Classical and contemporary dance, painting, writing and live art. Her inquiry into the female body as symbol, using hybrid religious female iconography that protests misogynist atrocities are illustrated in her performance installations that have been presented nationally and internationally. Her 2001 Australia Council Dance Fellowship initiated exploration of new intercultural performance methodologies. She completed a DCA (Doctor of Creative Arts, UOW) in 2018, presenting her exegesis, Urban Kali, From Sacred Dance to Secular Performance. 

 

TASMINA KHAN MAJLES is a Bangladeshi- Australian multidisciplinary artist who works primarily as a 

painter but also creates site-specific installations. Tasmina has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Curtin University in 2007 and Master of Creative Arts from Deakin University, Australia in 2019. Tasmina's method of art making is spontaneous and prompted by instinct. Her work is a representation of her inner psyche, a repository of emotions preoccupied with thoughts and memories, envisioning the unconscious as a place. Tasmina’s work explores the multiplicity of human perspective, the relationship between nature, the subliminal and the perception of reality. Her art depictions are at the intersection of figurative and abstract representation. 

 

SHINJITA ROY is a site-specific choreographer, architect and Kathak dancer from India. She applies her knowledge of Indian classical dance and architecture to create performance that facilitates space-making and public engagement. Her work attempts to initiate conversations between dance and architecture, create more active and engaged public spaces, and develop a language for site-specificity in Indian arts for Indian heritage sites. She has graduated as an architect from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi (2012), and completed her MA in Performance Training from University of Plymouth, U.K. (2018). At VCA, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne, she is currently pursuing artistic research through a PhD project that enquires into how site-specific performance can help reactivate a sense of ‘space’ at abandoned heritage sites. 

 

Born in Bangladesh, SHARMIN HUQ SANGEETA is a Melbourne based abstract expressionist. Her watercolour works capture the intersecting emotions of migration, the longing for homeland and finding stimulation from new surroundings. Her glimpses of thoughts ultimately result in a deeper connection with a juggling subconscious mind which is obsessed with the intrinsic beauty of human form and the capacity to feel, creating a space that exists between dreams and reality. Music drives her creative journey. 

Friday, 5 July, 6-8pm

The opening night, with speeches and a Welcome to Country, will be held at Incinerator Gallery alongside exhibitions These Arms Hold and anti-aria for ater.

More information coming soon.