Tashkeel presents ‘Telling Tales’, a solo exhibition by Debjani Bhardwaj of intricate drawings, papercuts and installations rooted in traditional Emirati and Omani stories. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, booklet and a programme of talks, tours, workshops and screenings for all ages.
The visual artist is the latest alumna of the Tashkeel Critical Practice Programme. Having worked with mentors Les Bicknell and Hassan Meer over the last year, Bhardwaj chose to explore the parallels between the contemporary human condition and the traditional folk tales of the UAE and Oman.
“The Critical Practice Programme made me traverse an uncharted territory. It helped me work within a supported environment to attempt and explore the radical potential of paper, which I was curious about but had never tried.” – Debjani Bhardwaj, Artist.
Several of Bhardwaj’s works are tunnel books. Paper-cut silhouettes are layered and bound together, to create the illusion of depth and perspective, then framed within wooden boxes and backlit to evoke ethereal, otherworldly scenes. Other pieces include installations, a Jacob’s ladder and a praxinoscope. This drum-shaped device, a successor to the zoetrope, is lined with pictures portraying, in sequence, the progress of a moving object. When the toy is spun, these are reflected upon a corresponding series of mirrors, creating the illusion of motion.
Throughout the programme, Bhardwaj was supported by respected art practitioners Les Bicknell and Hassan Meer. Bicknell is a Course Tutor on the Book Art MA at London’s Camberwell College of Arts and a senior lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts, also in England. Omani artist and curator Meer is the Director of Stal Gallery, Muscat.
Lisa Ball-Lechgar, Deputy Director of Tashkeel said “Debjani Bhardwaj is a long-time friend and member of Tashkeel. She has participated in a staggering six editions of our annual ‘Made in Tashkeel’ summer show and in 2011, we presented her second only solo exhibition entitled ‘Spindle, Shuttle, Needle’ at Tashkeel Al Fahidi. ‘Telling Tales’ at Tashkeel Nad Al Sheba marks the culmination of the fourth edition of the Critical Practice Programme.”
‘Telling Tales’ runs from Tuesday, September 18 until October 30, 2018, at Tashkeel, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai. Open from 10 am to 10 pm daily, except Friday, admission is free. Tours are available upon request and a programme of talks, tours and screenings will run throughout. For further details, visit tashkeel.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +971 4 336 3313.