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Materials Lab: Materiality/Material Culture in Creative Practice – Chila Burman

28 May 2020 | 4.30pm – 6.30pm

This event will be live-streamed via Zoom. Register below.

Artist Chila Burman could be described as a collector – of trinkets, of Bollywood imagery, of pop culture iconography, of memories. Chila Burman and Christine Checinska will be in conversation discussing her love of ephemera and use of everyday materials, alongside the coming together of the political and the personal in her practice. 

Educated at Leeds Polytechnic and the Slade School of Art in London, Chila Kumari Singh Burman has worked across the mediums of printmaking, painting, installation, sculpture, photography and film. Overtly political since the 1970s, Burman’s work examines cultural identity, gender and representation, continually questioning the role of women, especially south-Asian women, in the world. In 2017 Burman was awarded an honorary doctorate for her contribution to the arts from the University of Arts in London. Works in public collections include in the Tate collection, Wellcome Collection, Science Museum  Collection, Arts Council Collection and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.  

Burman’s works explore Asian feminisms through a collection of feminine forms. A continued theme of ice cream references her father, who arrived as an immigrant from India in the 1950s, and was an ice cream man for over thirty years. Burman’s use of ice cream as a motif also satirises the sexualisation of women in the ice cream industry, particularly referencing a flake advert. Burman’s works are vajazzled with gems and crystals, using the aesthetics of consumerism and glamour; giving a new meaning to materials which could be perceived as cheap or kitsch. Her use of the bindi subverts its testimonial connotations in Hinduism to signify marriage. Similarly, the repeated motif of flowers, which are central to religious ceremonies in Hindu rituals, represent sexuality.

This event is part of the CHS College-Wide series Materials Lab, led by Christine Checinska.

Register in advance for this webinar here: https://rca-ac.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IT7PGwNBRlm8lQVaQn-bZA