South Asian creativity blossoms in new London show by CommonGround&
Coinciding with South Asian Heritage Month (18 July – 17 August) the inaugural show by new art collective CommonGround& champions the next generation of South Asian creatives
South Asian Heritage Month is in full bloom. In London, a new exhibition is blending community, creativity and South Asian talent. Art collective CommonGround&’s inaugural exhibition, which it dubs a Summer Show, spans art, photography, film, textiles and graphic art and will be on view until 1 August at Peckham’s Copeland Gallery in Copeland Park.
‘Showing and expressing work and practices of South Asian creatives feels important right now for this generation, who are ready to self-actualise, step into their own space and be seen and heard,’ says London-based CommonGround& founder Mehala Ford, who was born in Sri Lanka. For her, CommonGround& ‘represents the place from where we all originate and also what we all have in common among our creative interests and work’.
The collective’s first show is an opportunity for established and emerging artists to showcase experimental work. Artists were selected by a South Asian creatives group set up by Spandana Gopal of production design studio Tiipoi, and ceramicist Lubna Chowdhary, who also selected three artists from Saskia Fernando Gallery in Sri Lanka. Despite the show’s distinctive approach, it has no set theme, allowing the artists freedom to play with ideas, explains Ford.
Artists featured in the exhibition include Muvindu Binoy, Abdul Halik Azeez, Ranura Edirisinghe, Liaqat Rasul and Vivek Vadoliya. Photographer Taran Wilkhu will also showcase a series of prints, alongside copies of An Opinionated Guide to London Architecture (2019), a book he collaborated on with authors Rosa Bertoli and Sujata Burman, published by Hoxton Mini Press.
Though Covid-19 continues to present challenges, it has led to Cultural Recovery Funding for Copeland Park, a twist of fate that enabled the exhibition to come to life. Ford is putting the boost to good use by drawing attention to creativity from the South Asian diaspora in the UK and beyond: ‘I hope that people get a snapshot of the creative output, energy and attitude created by our artists and enjoy an experience which reflects the work and mood of the current generation.’
Looking ahead to the future of CommonGround&, the team aim to hold the Summer Show annually. Eventually, they hope the event can morph into a festival, incorporating an even more diverse range of creative disciplines – from fashion, music and live performance to food. §