Platform for Art is proud to present an exhibition of digital portraits by local people. The portraits were produced in workshops devised by Harrow based artist Poulomi Desai and took place Harrows focal points for arts and culture: Fovea Gallery, Harrow Museum and Harrow Arts Centre. The works were inspired by imagery from Poulomi Desai’s book and exhibition Red Threads, which explored personal and visual identity.
Desai encouraged the participants to imagine what it would be like to change their identity. They experimented with costume, disguise, facial and bodily expression and recorded their transformations through photography. Using pastel and paint, they made patterns and decorative detail on some of the photographs to add a further layer to the new identities they were creating. The results are a range of self portraits that offer an intriguing, playful and visually dynamic representation of Harrow’s diverse community.
Other project partners included Arts Culture Harrow which runs Harrow Museum and Harrow Arts Centre. They worked with Harrow Asian Archive to invite community groups to take part in two of Poulomi’s workshops. The collaboration of these different partners was facilitated by Harrow Council Arts Unit.
The exhibition and workshops at Fovea Gallery were funded by Usurp, Arts Council of England, and Awards for All.
Poulomi Desai has worked and exhibited internationally but maintains a strong bond with the area in which she lives. Her recent exhibition at Fovea Gallery and the workshops she instigated with the local community in Harrow have strengthened that connection. In her work she frequently explores and challenges preconceptions of identity.
Red Threads was launched by the Deputy Mayor of Harrow Councillor Jean Lammiman in an events attended by the participants and artist Poulomi Desai on June 5th 2006.
I took part in this exhibition and it’s still makes me very happy to see the work at the station, but it is a shame that I did not see any posters on any stations to tell people about our work and I see lots of other posters advertising your other projects. Maybe it is because we are not famous.
I really appreciated seeing the artwork at north harrow station and found the subject addressed very interesting. good to see local community art project as even though i live in harrow, i don”t see much as i work right over the over side of london, and often think of harrow as a very bland place. would love to see more.