Talwar Gallery is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition of works by Zarina Bhimji. Cleaning the Garden is an exploration of formal gardens in Britain and Spain as both cultural metaphors and personal embodiments. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States; featuring lightboxes, photographs, and etched mirrors.
Zarina Bhimji’s work invites and disarms by its simplicity and eloquence. Once inside, there is nowhere to go except to traverse the labyrinths of metaphorical and personal excursions; both real and imagined. As the artist has remarked, “What I am exploring here is the line between what we know to be true and what we believe to be true, the border between fact and fiction. It is this space that the memory occupies… In a sense the subject matter of this work is incidental; it is not just about the gardens, it is about the memory spaces they represent.”
“Zarina Bhimji’s images and arrangements of objects protect against disappearance, reclaim the past as alive, refuse the deadness of representation by awakening the viewer’s sensory responses- the smell of red spices, the feel of red tulip petals like satiny skin, the shudder of dread of the ghostly limbs in their glass boxes. In Zarina Bhimji’s hands, images make gestures of reparations for hurts, or reclaim fleeting, intense moments of consciousness, by locating and defining the stuffs which have become intimately saturated with memories.” says Marina Warner in her catalogue essay at Kettle’s Yard.
“This show brings a double debut: the first solo New York appearance of the London-based artist Zarina Bhimji and the inauguration of Talwar Gallery...... A welcome debut.”
New York Times
“What I am exploring here is the line between what we know to be true and what we believe to be true, the border between fact and fiction. It is this space that the memory occupies… In a sense the subject matter of this work is incidental; it is not just about the gardens, it is about the memory spaces they represent.”
Zarina Bhimji was born in Mbarara, Uganda. She attended Goldsmiths College, University of London (1983-86), followed by post-graduate work in Fine Arts at the Slade School, London (1987-89). In 1992, a solo exhibition of her work titled I will always be Here was shown at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England. In 1996, her works were included in the group exhibition In/Sight at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, US and, in 1997, she participated in the exhibition Out of India at the Queens Museum, New York, NY, US. Also in 1997, her series “Life’s Little Necessities” was included in The Johannesburg Biennale, South Africa. Her works have been shown at venues such as Haunch of Venison (London and Zurich); Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, Belgium; the Whitechapel Gallery, London; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, US; the Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis, MN, US; the Istanbul Biennale, Turkey; and Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany. Bhimji received the EAST award from EASTinternational in 2001, the International Center for Photography’s Infinity Award in 2003, and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2007.