Howling like dogs, I swallowed solid air

Zarina Bhimji (1963 - )

Colour transparency in light-box

1998-2003

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© Zarina Bhimji. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020

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  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    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
    Born in Uganda, Zarina Bhimji studied art at Leicester Polytechnic, Goldsmiths College and Slade School of Fine Art in London. Since her first solo exhibition in London (1989), she has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad including shows in Cape Town, Berlin and Istanbul. She has won many awards including the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists (1999). Her work is represented in public and private collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Arts Council and the Polaroid International Collection in Germany. In 2003, Bhimji exhibited at Tate Britain, London and, in 2005 she was part of a group show at the Talwar Gallery, New York. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2007. In 2012, Yellow Patch was shown at the Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland; the New Art Gallery, Walsall and at her major solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. Her most recent solo exhibition was Lead White at Tate Britain in 2019.
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  • Details
    Title
    Howling like dogs, I swallowed solid air
    Edition
    1/3
    Date
    1998-2003
    Medium
    Colour transparency in light-box
    Dimensions
    height: 127.00 cm, width: 170.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Lisson Gallery, April 2004
    GAC number
    17864