The Exchange Ilford Shopping Centre, London, hosts Arts Council funded exhibition from 11th June until 19th July 2014!
The photographic exhibition of 200 black and white pictures produced by UK artist William Titley, which toured Pakistan, India and USA, now comes to London. The exhibition features images from the ancient city of Lahore, Pakistan and the Indian city of Chandigarh and explores the cities in the context of the 1947 Indian government partition, stimulating international discussion around the history, architecture and people of these two historically connected cities.
Artist Titley explains “The idea of communities being separated by a political border seems ludicrous and I wanted the work to encourage people to imagine the two cities as one place and to generate dialogue around issues of displacement”.
As part of his vision for the project, in each touring country, the exhibition is curated by local people. Titley comments “The 1947 border wall was placed onto these communities, and therefore it was important to relinquish curatorial control and allow communities to tell and govern the exhibition story”.
Working alongside Curator Sarah Walters, the London based exhibition will be organised by local Redbridge College BTEC students who hope to share new interpretations of the work. In addition to this, the students have collaborated with the artist and created a group exhibition which will run parallel to the touring show - creating art work that offers reflection upon Titley’s photographic exhibition, placing it within the context of Ilford and its community. There will also be a number of workshops, artist talks, running throughout the exhibition to further engage visitors.
Mahum Burki, a student at Redbridge College says “This exhibition teaches us about the partition and how we should appreciate the life we have now. When I look at these photographs of the partition I see stories; I see emotions; I see the morals we must all keep in mind”.
The Exchange Ilford are excited to be hosting this exhibition, Rubie Charalambous the Centre Director says “The Exchange Ilford is an important centrally located shopping centre which is pivotal to the cultural life of Ilford because it is where all members of our diverse community congregate. Shopping has become a leisure activity and hosting this fascinating art exhibition will bring appeal to the community we serve.”
William Titley has been a practicing artist for over ten years. His work explores ideas of location, identity and spatial ownership. Utilising local resources to facilitate projects and empower communities, his work acts as a catalyst for dialogue and reflection: from archive interventions, documentaries and exhibitions, to one-off commissions, in Lancashire, New York, London, and Lahore, Pakistan. He believes socially engaged arts practice such as this is important to the global community because it helps to instigate social change and can have a major impact upon the lives of communities and the shaping of their environment, often giving a voice to those who cannot be heard and a platform on which to build for the future.
This project is supported by The Exchange Ilford, Redbridge College, Redbridge Council, Vision, Arts Council England and The University of Central Lancashire.