Indian artist Sheela Gowda’s (b.1957) exhibition at Ikon is a considered response to the gallery’s architecture – whilst also touching on a range of socio-political concerns arising out of situations often far beyond the gallery walls.
Through a subtle symbolism and poetic treatment of everyday materials, Gowda makes strong visual statements that convey her uneasiness with the status quo, especially with respect to women and others marginalised by injustice. To this extent her work is “issue-based”, but it is not didactic. In a recent interview she explains,
“I don’t believe that you can be a good artist by having a list of things that you want to say. I think this is a recipe to make bad art. Not because there is something wrong in being specific, but I think art is not about giving opinions or stating these in black and white terms. Art should be something beyond that. There’s nothing wrong in having an opinion but it is not art. I can have opinions about topical issues, the civic administration or the government but airing those opinions does not make it art.”
Details of the Ikon Gallery are listed below:
1 Oozells Square,
Postcode: B1 2HS
Telephone Number (public enquiries): 0121 248 0708
The Ikon Gallery is open Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 11am-5pm.