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Artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman takes over with a mixture of culture-clashing visuals, neons and sculptures. The gallery will be an installation in its own right and a space for the presentation of artworks by FACT’s artists-in-residence, a host of artist-led events, and hands-on workshops.
Chila Kumari Singh Burman has a widely recognised, unique visual identity that has been shaped by her working class childhood in a Liverpudlian household. In this year’s HM The Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List, Burman received a MBE for her vibrant and uplifting installations which are known for bringing people together. With a nod to her recent accolade, the artist’s playfully titled installation, Merseyside Burman Empire, will contain new commissions including an immersive Tuk Tuk. The Tuk Tuk will be a kaleidoscope of colour, made up of layered collages, glitter and embellished elements featuring motifs including Hindu deities, Bindis and tigers.
Born in Bootle, to Punjabi-Hindu parents, Burman is celebrated for her radical feminist practice which examines representation, gender and cultural identity. Burman’s upbringing has shaped her practice and experience of the world, and is one of the key reasons why her works have come to speak to several generations of young multicultural communities in Britain. She works across a wide range of mediums including printmaking, drawing, painting, installation and film. Continually seeking to break stereotypes and emancipate the image of women, she often uses self-portraiture as a tool of empowerment and self-determination.
As part of FACT’s commitment to working with and developing the next generation of cultural and creative talent, the newly designed gallery space allows for more experimental presentation and production spaces within the building. The gallery will allow both local and international artists and curators to test their approaches to art-making and interact with the public through workshops, residency exchanges and presentations.
Opening in August, the gallery will host a series of 8-week long presentations by artists-in-residence at FACT. The newly designed gallery provides the artists with a space to experiment and engage with the public. The first residency showcase opens from 28 September – 30 November 2022, featuring Agnes Varnai and Tina Kult (awarded the European Media Artist in Residence Exchange in 2022) alongside Lucy Hutchinson (Jerwood Arts x FACT Fellow 2022). The second showcase will see April Lin (Jerwood Arts x FACT Fellow 2022) exhibit alongside Erin Dickson (FACT Together 2021) from 30 November – 5 February 2023, before a third showcase presents Hope Strickland (FACT Together 2021) and Ashley Holmes (Jerwood Arts x FACT Fellow 2022) from 15 February – 9 April 2023. The final showcase takes place from 19 April – 18 June 2023 and features Kerolaina Linkevica and GLOR1A (both awarded FACT Together residencies in 2021).
FACT have collaborated with Bundobust for the opening event taking place on Saturday 13 August with Indian street food and musical celebrations. Register for free at fact.co.uk/whats-on.
The gallery will also host the majority of FACT’s art-related events programme including talks, tours, performances, family workshops and group visits and is free to visit Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 – 18:00.
Chila Kumari Singh Burman said: “The team at FACT are just wonderful to work with. I am over the moon to exhibit a brand new Tuk Tuk alongside my ongoing neons and new collages which will wrap the walls and furniture within the gallery. The space is going to be fun, playful, experimental and artistic to invite and welcome everyone inside. I was born in Walton Hospital and went to Bootle Girls Grammar School so it’s great to be back home, bringing my heart, soul and creative vibes to FACT with an urban ring bling and zing. This project is dead sound and unique, and my late mum and dad will be well chuffed with my MBE… their dream.”
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