The London based social charity Rich Mix is hosting the first ever mid-career retrospective of a living British-Bangladeshi female artist – Sanchita Islam. The exhibition, entitled ‘The Rebel Within’, runs from 6 March - 28 April 2013
On the opening night an exhibition of thirty-foot long scrolls will be on display followed by a debate discussing the lack of high profile British Asian artists in the UK today. Coinciding with Bangladeshi Independence Day on 26th March and International Women’s Day on 8th March it promises to be a memorable show.
During the course of the exhibition, Sanchita’s films and art work – including the UK Film Council funded animation film ‘The White Wall’ – will be shown, along with other works she has produced over the past twenty-five years.
The exhibition will also feature a ‘doodle room’, in which members of the public will be encouraged to participate and a poetry performance. Bespoke prints of Sanchita’s work, produced by the London Print Studio, will also be available.
Artist, writer and filmmaker Sanchita Islam has worked extensively in the Tower Hamlets region since 1999. She has participated nationally and internationally in exhibitions and screenings, working closely with organisations such as the Arts Council, the UK Film Council, the British Council and the Commonwealth Institute.
As a visual artist, Sanchita has exhibited extensively, undertaken commissions and been artist in residence at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Artscape and Shoreditch House. She is the founder of Pigment Explosion which creates projects that engages people through painting/drawing, film, books and photography and aims to reach out to sectors of the public who would not ordinarily have access to the arts.
To date Pigment Explosion has worked with old people, women suffering from domestic violence, kids living in the slums of Bangladesh, street kids in Jakarta, kids living on the estates of East London and Kuala Lumpur and most recently patients with mental health issues in Brussels.
In 2010 the UK Film Council commissioned the animation film, The White Wall, which has been screened in New York, Brussels and London. In 2012 Sanchita exhibited at Shoreditch House, London and Soho House, New York and completed her first solo show at KAOS in Brussels in October 2012. As part of the show she held drawing workshops with people with schizophrenia. During the workshops they worked collectively on a 30-foot scroll, which was included in the Brussels exhibition. She has also published work in the Dutch journal Psyche.
Sanchita's interest in mental health stems from her wish to address the stigma associated with mental health issues. Finally, Pigment Explosion conceived PEP (pigmentexplosionparties), which facilitate a new way of showing art that is informal and accessible with a dynamic format, incorporating the spoken word, visual arts and performance. To date four PEP events have taken place in London, New York and Brussels.
Sanchita is a staunchly independent artist, with a unique take on the arts. She has produced and directed sixteen films to date including shorts and one-hour films. Since 2008, she has been signed with the publishers Chipmunka Press.
She has continued to create a buzz outside the contemporary art scene while keeping one big toe firmly in it.
‘The Rebel Within’, runs from 6 March - 28th April 2013 at the Rich Mix theatre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London.