Zarina Bhimji’s haunting photographs reflect the artist’s personal experience as a child in exile from civil war in Uganda. This is an early work and one of eight Polaroids made during a residency at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, in which the artist explored the experience of displacement through the objects on display in the Indian Collection. The small figure of an Indian woman dressed in a traditional kurta is counterposed with a statue of Diana, evocative symbol of western beauty. This work reveals concerns recurring through Bhimji’s subsequent practice; an exploration of the feminine; an intimate engagement with place; and the classification of personal and political histories within institutions of power. Bhimji’s sensitivity to texture and tone, colour and light, makes palpable and beautiful the experience of estrangement, loss and pain.
Exhibited as part of Zarina Bhimji: Solo Exhibition, 1995.