13 October 2018 – 6 January 2019
Throughout her career, Indian-born Ranbir Kaur has shared her passion for colour, texture and design, creating an impressive portfolio of projects. She has worked with diverse communities across the UK and, through the design and installation of site-specific Rangolis, in many countries across the globe, from Europe to Australia.
Rangoli is a traditional Indian art form used to decorate the ground in front of houses and places of worship to attract the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi. It is usually made for auspicious occasions such as festivals and special celebrations. Ranbir has taken this traditional art and adapted her approach according to the space she works in. As well as using traditional materials and patterns, she creates stunning contemporary designs using materials not usually associated with this art. Here in this exhibition, she has created a carpet of Rangoli descending from the gallery wall onto the floor; a luscious bed of intricate design produced using tactile everyday materials. This work has been made specifically for this exhibition.
Although she has exhibited her work extensively in museums and galleries across the UK, this retrospective exhibition is the first time that her life in colour has been celebrated. The exhibition brings together a wide range of textile pieces made using traditional techniques from embroidery, filigree, and mirror work to story banners and doll-making, all inspired by her South Asian heritage. Ranbir has received many awards including Cultural Ambassador of NRI’s for contribution to the Arts Field award from the Welfare Society of India , New Delhi 2017 and is in the Guinness Book of Record for creating the largest Rangoli and the first ever floating Rangoli on the water with British Water Ways and Craft Space.
This exhibition has been made possible with generous support from Arts Council England National Lottery Funds, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens and Friends of SM&WG.