Life is More Important than Art: Discussion

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    Janette Parris, Whitechapel Gallery, 2023

Past Event

This event was on Thursday 22 June, 7pm

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Life Is More Important than Art: Discussion

Thursday 22 June | 7pm | £5

Whitechapel Gallery Director Gilane Tawadros chairs a discussion with artists Janette Parris, Matthew Krishanu and Sarah Dobai exploring key themes from the exhibition Life is More Important than Art.  In the work of featured artists – spanning film, painting, photography and installation – past and present histories are interwoven and personal stories are entangled with global events.

This discussion opens up these stories and explores threads across artistic practices, to reflect on the critical role of art during challenging times.

Whitechapel Gallery · Life Is More Important than Art: Discussion

About the speakers:

Sarah Dobai

Sarah Dobai is an artist based in photography, film & text. Her recent work has re-enacted & re-purposed historical works of literature or cinema to animate present day concerns. Recent solo exhibitions/ projects include The Donkey Field at Danielle Arnaud/ Imperial War Museum, CAST (Helston), Glassyard Gallery (Budapest), Principles & Deception at Or Gallery (Vancouver) & FILET (Hoxton) and The Overcoat bookwork, published by Four Corners Books. In Bees in a Hive of Glass, she collaborated with novelist Tom McCarthy, iterations of which appeared in TANK Magazine & at Whitstable Biennale. She lives and works in London and is Reader in Photography, Text and Film-based Practice at University of the Arts London.

Matthew Krishanu

Matthew Krishanu’s paintings explore topics including childhood, race, religion, grief, and the legacies of empire. Group exhibitions include: Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka (2023); Prophecy, Mead Gallery, Coventry (2022); Mixing It Up: Painting Today’, Hayward Gallery, London (2021); ‘Coventry Biennial’, Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum (2021). Recent solo exhibitions: ‘Playground’, Niru Ratnam, London (2022); ‘Undercurrents’, LGDR, New York (2022); ‘Arrow and Pulpit’, Tanya Leighton, Berlin (2021); ‘House of Crows’, Matt’s Gallery, London (2019); ‘The Sun Never Sets’, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham, (2019). Collections include: the Arts Council Collection; Government Art Collection; Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery; Huddersfield Art Gallery; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi.

Janette Parris

Janette Parris (b.1962, UK) is a contemporary artist who uses everyday people as the basis for much of her work, often reflecting the pathos behind an individual’s desire to become successful and well known. She works across different media including drawing, animation, and performance (musical and theatre) to reflect a dry and self-effacing look at the world and how we are all performers within it. Parris captures the humorous essence of life but always notes the sharp melancholic edge that goes with it.

In 2016 Peckham Platform commissioned Parris for Peckham Promenade. The resulting body of work takes inspiration from the characters, lives and daily interactions of the people living, working in and visiting Peckham’s bustling Rye Lane. Her work was also part of the 2016 Peckham Platform Retrospective exhibition, a timeline of all 20 artists commissions realised by Peckham Platform between 2010 – 2016

Gilane Tawadros

Gilane Tawadros is the Director of the Whitechapel Gallery. She was formerly Chief Executive of DACS and Co-Director of the Art360 Foundation. She was the founding Director of the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva) in London which achieved an international reputation as a ground-breaking cultural agency at the leading edge of artistic and cultural debates nationally and internationally. She has written extensively on contemporary art and curated a number of international exhibitions. She is Chair of the Stuart Hall Foundation and Trustee of the Stuart Croft Foundation. Her anthology The Sphinx Contemplating Napoleon: Global Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Difference is published by Bloomsbury.

Sarah Dobai The Donkey Field (still) 2021 copy

Life Is More Important Than Art

A free summer programme of exhibitions and events.