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British Council’s ‘Homelands’ exhibition in Colombo

‘Homelands’ is an exhibition that is part of the British Council collection and has been touring the South Asia region since May 2013. It is a part of the British Council Collection, which features around 8,500 artworks by British artists, including extraordinary works from the mid-20th Century by Lucian Freud, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson amongst others.

The artworks demonstrate the very best in contemporary British practice in all medias, from painting and sculpture to printmaking, photography, installation and new media.

‘Homelands,’ which features more than 49 works by 20 of the world’s leading British contemporary artists from the British Council Collection, now being showcased in Sri Lanka will conclude today, as part of the Colombo Art Biennale 2014, Colombo’s cutting edge festival of international and local contemporary visual arts.

The artists featured in Homelands are, Angus Boulton, Nathan Coley, Jeremy Deller, Suki Dhanda, Jimmie Durham, Paul Graham, Graham Gussin, Mona Hatoum, Anthony Haughey, Tim Hetherington, Susan Hiller, Anthony Lam, Langlands, Bell, Rachel Lowe, Raymond Moore, Cornelia Parker, Martin Parr, Zineb Sedira, and David Shrigley.

Relationship

In keeping with the Colombo Art Biennale’s theme of ‘Making History’, ‘Homelands’ grapples with the relationship between self and place in a world of transitory identities and contested geographies. Curated by Latika Gupta, the exhibition is a unique take on contemporary British art. The collection excavates the idea of a ‘homeland’ to reveal a rich plurality of meaning; ideas of belonging, alienation, history and memory.

In this group of contemporary artists, there are four Turner Prize winners and nominees: Jeremy Deller (winner, 2004), Mona Hatoum (nominee, 1995), Langlands, Bell (nominees, 2004) and Cornelia Parker (nominee, 1997).

Tim Hetherington was the winner of World Press Photo in 2007.

Indian curator, Latika Gupta says: “Today, many of us move across national boundaries. We are born in one country, we make another our home. In the criss-crossing of political, social and cultural borders, we live our lives through hyphenated identities: belonging here and there; inhabiting multiple places - both physical and metaphorical.

Geographies that can be mapped as inter-national boundaries and as places conjured up by remembering and imagining. What constitutes a homeland? Is it ethnicity? Language? Religion? Customs and beliefs? Are homelands those in which our ancestors were born? What of outsiders who live and make other lands their homes? Where do we really belong? Where is it that we hope to one day return?” ‘Homelands’ opened at the Lionel Wendt and Harold Peiris Galleries on January 31 with a curated walk by the exhibition curator Latika Gupta.

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