Shanti Panchal: A Personal Language of Painting is Ben Uri Research Unit’s first digital show devoted to a contemporary émigré. Born in the mid-1950s (exact date unknown) in rural Gujarat, western India, Panchal arrived in London on a British Council scholarship from 1978-80; he has now lived and worked here for over 40 years. These 12 images, across a decade, showcase his masterly handling of his preferred medium — saturated colours that can hardly seem to 'be' watercolour. Enigmatic narratives are personal and universal, addressing urgent issues facing humanity in the 21st century: slavery, refugees and migrants, disability, terrorism, the role of women, family, and Britain’s place in a new European order. Within these powerful images, we can each perhaps recognise something of our own experiences.
Experience the exhibition in our virtual gallery here.
Listen to a 2012 talk hosted at Ben Uri. Indian artist, Shanti Panchal and Bombay-born, Jewish artist Siona Benjamin, discuss the role of mythology in contemporary transcultural art. Watch here.