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Iniva Presents Sheela Gowda Therein & Besides

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) is proud to present the first solo exhibition in the UK by Bangalore based artist Sheela Gowda at Rivington Place. On view 19 January – 12 March 2011.

This exhibition juxtaposes two major works, giving the viewer an insight into the artist’s practice, her thought process and methodology. A new commission entitled of all people (2011) is installed in the main gallery (PS1) and Collateral (2007) is shown on the second floor in (PS2).

Sheela Gowda

Having trained as a painter in the early 1990s, Gowda moved into sculpture and installation, developing an aesthetic language able to respond to the complexity of the world, including its violence and contradictions. Often she begins her projects by selecting a material and testing out its physical as well as conceptual attributes. What will the material do? How can it be transformed? What structures does it make possible? This often results in works pared down to abstract forms that remove the material from its social and economic context, but contain a residue of its source, which is made perceptible to the viewer.

‘I work towards layers of meaning while trimming the form to the extent possible, where the reference or the source is suggested but not stated literally.’
—Sheela Gowda

On the ground floor, of all people (2011), explores states of abstraction and legibility, using diverse scales. The dimensions of the gallery, elements of furniture and architectural features are a framing device for thousands of small wooden chips which have been hand carved by artisans. Moving through this environment, the viewer is invited to recalibrate their experience of the work from a number of different heights and perspectives.

Collateral (2007) has been produced using the substance employed in the making of incense sticks, which is moulded into forms and then burnt leaving a residue of ash. Spread out across the eight frames on which this process has taken place, the work gives rise to a series of engineered and accidental correspondences between its various elements, and has the appearance of a charred landscape viewed from above.

Past works by the artist include And tell him of my pain (1998) a long red cord produced from many individual threads coated with glue and red pigment and coiled around the gallery touching the floor, walls and ceiling, making sensory and allegorical connections between divergent points. Its presence alludes variously to the internal organs of the body, the sinuous strength and flexibility of a creeper or cord and the variegated movements of a Pollock drip painting.

For the installation Kagebangara (2007), Gowda sourced tar drums from road workers and used these alongside yellow and blue plastic tarpaulins to produce a composition in colour and form. On closer inspection this installation reveals spaces that echo the ones used by workers to sleep in—the artist attuning her materials towards on the one hand an abstract sculpture and on the other a particular urban scenography.

A series of talks and events accompanies the exhibition including the artist in conversation on 20 January, 6:30pm, an exhibition tour on 10 February, 6:30pm and programmes of artists’ films curated by Shanay Jhaveri (17 & 24 Feb) and Nicole Wolf (2 March). Visit for details.

Sheela Gowda was born in Bhadravati, India, in 1957, and lives and works in Bangalore, India. Group exhibitions include in 2009 Textiles: Art and Social Fabric, MuKHA, Antwerp, Provisions, Sharjah Biennial, and Making Worlds, 53rd Venice Biennale; in 2008-2010 Indian Highway, Serpentine Gallery, London, travelled to Astrup Museum, Oslo and Herning Museum of Contemporary Art; in 2008-09 India Moderna, IVAM Museum, Valencia, Spain; in 2008 Santhal Family, MuKHA, Antwerp; in 2007 Horn Please, Kunstmuseum, Bern, Documenta 12, Kassel, and the Lyon Biennale; in 2005 Indian Summer – Contemporary Art from India, Ecole de Beaux Arts, Paris; in 2003 City Park, Project, Dublin; in 2002 Moving Ideas – Secular Practice, Gallery La Centrale, Montreal and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; in 2000 Drawing Space, organised by Iniva, at Beaconsfield Gallery, London and Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham; in 1998 Private Mythology, The Japan Foundation, Tokyo; in 1996 Traditions/Tensions, Asia Society/Queens Museum, New York, travelled to Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, and in 1995 Africus, South African Biennale, Johannesburg.

Solo exhibitions include in 2010 Postulates of Contiguity, Office For Contemporary Art (OCA), Oslo, and Behold, NAS Gallery, Sydney; in 2008 Touching Base, Museum Gouda, and Crime Fiction, GALLERYSKE, Bangalore; in 2006 Bose Pacia Gallery, New York; in 2004 On Earth and in Heaven, GALLERYSKE, Bangalore; in 1993 Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore and Gallery Chemould, Bombay; in 1989 Yelwala, Mysore and Gallery 7, Bombay; in 1987 Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore.

Visitor information
Rivington Place public opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 11am – 6pm, Late Thursdays: 11am – 9pm (last admission 8.30pm), Saturday: 12noon – 6pm. Admission free. Café Lati Ri is open all day with wi-fi access and drinks offers on Thursday evenings between 6-9pm. Nearest Tubes: Old Street/Liverpool Street/Shoreditch High St. Rivington Place is fully accessible in all public areas. For parking & wheelchair facilities or further information about Rivington Place contact: +44 (0)20 7749 1240 [email protected], /

About Iniva
Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) engages with new ideas and emerging debates in the contemporary visual arts, reflecting in particular the cultural diversity of contemporary society. We work with artists, curators, creative producers, writers and the public to explore the vitality of visual culture. Iniva programmes at Rivington Place, off-site and virtually.

Iniva at Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA

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