Howling like dogs, I swallowed solid air
Colour transparency in light-box1998-2003
About the work
Seven redundant fans lie on a debris-strewn floor of an abandoned room, assuming an anthropomorphic identity, like figures left for dead. In a once busy communal space, all that remains are these dysfunctional objects in this enigmatically titled work.
Visual ambiguity and lack of explicit meaning is a deliberate artistic device of Zarina Bhimji, who intentionally avoids pinning specific meaning to her film and photographic work. To her, the viewer's emotional response, not a literal interpretation, brings greater resonance to a work. The Gujarati-born artist spent her childhood in Uganda until 1974, when her family fled the civil war, emigrating to the UK. Her father had previously owned a retail business, a livelihood that he was forced to give up - this aspect of Bhimji's past deciphers notions of absence and displacement that are prevalent in her imagery.
Zarina Bhimji studied at Leicester Polytechnic before attending Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Since 1989 she has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in the UK and abroad. Her work has been recognised with several awards, including a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists in 1999. Her works are represented in public and private collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Polaroid International Collection in Offenbach, Germany.
About the artist
Zarina Bhimji (1963 - )
- Howling like dogs, I swallowed solid air
- Colour transparency in light-box
- height: 127.00 cm, width: 170.00 cm
- Purchased from Lisson Gallery, April 2004
- GAC number