Drawn from the British Council Collection, the exhibition Homelands is a unique take on contemporary British art by the Indian curator, Latika Gupta, a finalist in The Fifth Curator competition which was organised by the British Council in 2009. Including more than 80 works by 28 leading modern and contemporary artists - the exhibition explores the idea of a 'homeland' to reveal a rich plurality of meaning; ideas of belonging, alienation, history and memory.
To accompany the exhibition in Kolkata, The British Council organised a comprehensive programme of outreach activities including;
- A writing competition on the idea of home/homelands. Over 200 entires were submitted by people between the ages of 15 and 70 and silver plaques were given to 5 winners.
- A drawing workshop for children based on the exhibition.
- A discussion on ‘The role of the Curator as Interpreter-Ideas of Location through different modes of exhibition making’ led by Latika and includeding a presentation on contemporary Sri Lankan art by photographer and curator Menika Van Der Poorten. The audience included directors of the leading private galleries in Calcutta, museum curators and personnel, as well as younger artist-curators.
- A Homelands Roundtable - A special session discussing the process of producing the exhibition alongside debate around the British Council's future arts strategy led by Sujata Sen and Samarjit Guha.
There was also an artist's talk by Anthony Haughey; a one-day workshop with postgraduate arts students from Shantiniketan and a three day workshop led by Khoj Kolkata, titled ‘Perceptions: Home and Beyond.’
Images from this fantastically varied programme can be viewed above.
Homelands continues to tour India, visiting Bengaluru and Mumbai in 2013.