The Tate Britain will also shine for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights - from 14 November, the site-specific installation created by the artist of Indian origins Chila Kumari Singh Burman will give a new look to the museum for the Winter Commission 2020. The content of the work is top secret at the moment. However, knowing Burman, we can expect something pop, something colourful, a fun installation, brimming with energy that also gives us cause to think. Collage, painting, video and engravings are the preferred techniques of the artist who grew up in Liverpool with her family from Punjab. Among her most famous works is Eat Me Now, a giant sculpture of an ice-cream cone, inspired by the times when a young Chila went around on an ice-cream truck with her father, “a tailor and a magician”, who had gone into selling sweets for a living. And on such a truck, Burman went on to display her works, a sort of itinerant gallery and she never ceased to pay homage to ice-cream either - in Cornets and Screwballs Go Vegas, for example, with its multitude of rainbow-coloured cones, depicting a surreal city-scape. Chila’s art speaks of female emancipation, post-colonial identity, nuclear arms and unemployment with a stunning lightness and she likes doing so with curious object trouvée - antiques, cut paper, old jewellery and even bindi, the drop-shaped ornaments placed on the foreheads of Indian women - all giving life to “magic and brazen” tales that speak volumes.
More than 50 artists, half a millennium of art and the immense variety of the planet’s cultures - a fascinating journey awaits at the Camden Art Centre, exploring the intimate tie between humans and plants.