Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead
Sutapa Biswas, Light Rain , 2015 (production still). Made possible thanks to the generous support of Beppu Projects, Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan, the Kashima Residency 2015. © Sutapa Biswas. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2021

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle 26 June 2021 — 20 March 2022 Entrance is free — Visit now

From her role in the British Black Arts movement in the 1980s to her ongoing work today, British Indian artist Sutapa Biswas has long been a driving force in efforts to highlight and challenge the deeply-engrained imperialist and colonial patterns of thought that still exist within British culture and society. In the words of the great visual theorist Griselda Pollock (who taught her during her time at the University of Leeds), it was Biswas who ‘forced us all to acknowledge the Eurocentric limits of the discourses within which we practise.’

The artist’s upcoming major solo presentation at BALTIC in Gateshead will bring together key works from across Biswas’ extensive career, spanning painting, drawing, film, digital video, installation, performance and photography. Among these include her seminal painting ‘Housewives with Steak-Knives’ (1985) and 30-minute film ‘Kali’ (1984), both of which challenged gender and ethnicity-based prejudices within Western art history and sought to counter hidden narratives via an evocation of the Hindu goddess of destruction, creation and banisher of evil.

The exhibition will also premiere a new film, ‘Lumen’ (2021), that maps a semi-fictional narrative of migration. The co-commission will sit alongside other recent film works, such as ‘Light Rain’ (2015), inspired by her family’s abrupt uprooting and passage from India to Britain over six decades ago necessitated by an intolerance towards her father’s political beliefs. The piece centralises a marginalised female voice and taps into issues relating to trauma, memory, displacement and motherhood.

Fundamentally inspired by the ways in which larger historical narratives collide with the personal, Biswas offers a vital disrupting voice within the global art scene. Her presentation at BALTIC promises a powerful overview of this important artist’s work and is one to look forward to.

Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle 26 June 2021 — 20 March 2022 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near Sutapa Biswas: Lumen at BALTIC, Gateshead

Trakol
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Trakol

On the Gateshead quayside, underneath the Tyne bridge is one of the best locations to go for a meal in Newcastle and Gateshead. In what was once derelict land on the quayside, now exists a fantastic shipping container village of purposely rusted shipping containers.

Shipley Art Gallery
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Shipley Art Gallery

The Shipley Art Gallery can be found on Prince Consort Road (named after Queen Victoria’s Husband – Prince Albert) and was created in 1917 after Joseph Shipley, a local solicitor, bestowed his collection of 504 paintings to create a gallery for local people.

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CBK Adventures

CBK Adventures deliver award-winning coastal activities including guided tours and lessons in kayaking and paddle boarding.

Quayside
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Quayside

The Quayside of Newcastle (and its sister town of Gateshead) is a hugely popular location in the city, featuring seven bridges spanning the impressive river, linking Newcastle to Gateshead and providing scope for many walks and tourist attraction.

Live Theatre
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Live Theatre

The Live Theatre has a fantastic reputation for developing, writing and producing new plays and shows every year. The Live Theatre started in 1973. It was at first a traveling theatre company, which started by telling stories that were relatable to daily life in the North East of England and presented these plays to local people – which it has continued to do to this day.

The Side Gallery
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The Side Gallery

The Side Gallery can be found on a small medieval street down by Newcastle’s Quayside. The Gallery itself is inside of an old warehouse, which by itself is a fantastic building to explore. Once you have entered the gallery, you are walking into one of the most important collections of film and photography in the British Isles.

Newcastle Castle
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Newcastle Castle

Discover the castle that gave Newcastle its name, taking in a 12th-century fortress that has been added to over the centuries.

Boiler Shop
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Boiler Shop

A Grade II* Listed former locomotive works from the 1820’s, now and events space hosting some of Newcastle’s most exciting event; from live performances, club nights and exhibitions, to food and drink festivals.

The Literary and Philosophical Society
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The Literary and Philosophical Society

A stone’s throw from Newcastle’s Central Station, and around the corner from Newcastle’s Castle, is The Lit and Phil. Only a few years younger than Manchester’s, The Lit and Phil is the second oldest literary and philosophical society in the United Kingdom.

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Saltwell Park

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