The Empire’s New Clothes exhibition at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning on Railton Road has been extended for an extra week and will now be showing until Friday 3 May.
Colonial violence, domination and eroticism are the themes which run through TextaQueen’s work in this solo exhibition.
Using felt-tip markers, the artist has taken well known images and painstakingly recast them. The result is a series of shocking but poignant comments on race, gender, sexuality, and power.
The artist is of Goan Indian heritage and the work reflects elements of the Indian artistic tradition.
It is, however, of a different scale and focusses on how Britain exploited the jewel in the crown of her empire.
“The Empire’s New Clothes” which gives the title to the exhibition, is based on a 1902 photograph of Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII and empress of India. But the image has been recast to reveal how the British presence in India was a brutal exercise in self interest.“Eve of Apocalypses” is I think the most complex piece of work. It interweaves western religious iconography, images of colonial destruction, eroticism and death.
The forbidden fruit which tempted Eve is not an apple but a pomegranate which has variously been a symbol of prosperity, ambition, fertility and death.
TextaQueen’s work has been shown across the world. Richly rendered, it is also complex, disturbing and fascinating.
The exhibition is free and runs until Friday 3 May in 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, 198 Railton Road, SE24 0JT.
The gallery is open 11am – 5pm Monday to Friday.