Shadows and disturbances

Zarina Bhimji (1963 - )

dye destruction print


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© Zarina Bhimji. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020

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  • About the work

    This photograph was taken during Zarina Bhimji’s research for Yellow Patch (2011), her film inspired by trade and migration across the Indian Ocean. In the film, desolate yet beautiful close-up images of abandoned Haveli palaces and colonial offices in Mumbai harbour give way to atmospheric renditions of the desert and the sea, accompanied by an evocative soundtrack. Bhimji took a medium format stills camera on location and shot about 40 photographs. Only a few of these have been printed. 

    The photographs were taken in four main locations across the Indian subcontinent; the old Victorian offices in the Port Trust of Bombay, the desert landscape of the Rann of Kutch, the Indian Ocean near the port of Mandvi, and various houses and structures in the Western region of Gujarat.  

    Speaking about her working process at the time, in a 2012 interview with Achim Borchardt-Hume and Kathleen Bühler, Bhimji explained:

    'I drink in all these details, I take photographs of every turn in the staircase, the corridors, the rooms, outer and inner elements, knowing I may never be able to return. I ask myself, if the effects of Partition were ever forgiven? Many people died in the name of independence, hundreds of thousands of screams have been uttered and much has been lost. We have spoken before about the idea of belatedness: is the loss mine as well as theirs? These are the types of questions I ask myself during the making of the work. [...]

    During the research for Yellow Patch I gathered a lot of material and wrote countless notes that act as thinking spaces. They open up a space that I can only describe as ‘in between’. My work is not about the actual facts but about the echo it creates, the marks, the gestures and the sound. This is what excites me. It is not carefully planned but gets stitched together as I go along.'

  • 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
    Shadows and disturbances
    Number 2 in an edition if 4 plus 2 artist's proofs
    dye destruction print
    height: 127.0; width: 160.0 cm
    Purchased from the artist via the Outset/Government Art Collection Fund with additional funds provided by UK Government Art Collection, January 2020
    The artist; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 20 January 2020
    GAC number