Uzma Mohsin’s images on display at Punjab Lalit Kala Academy in Chandigarh - image by Kerry O’Coy

Uzma Mohsin’s images on display at Punjab Lalit Kala Academy in Chandigarh - image by Kerry O’Coy

Girl Gaze: Journeys Through the Punjab & The Black Country comes to West Bromwich from 25th May, 2019.

Girl Gaze: Journeys Through the Punjab & The Black Country, UK is a photographic exploration of The Punjab and diaspora communities in the West Midlands through the voices of young girls and women. The exhibition takes place in West Bromwich as part of Blast! – a festival of photography, talks and walks for the six towns of Sandwell from Friday 24 May to Saturday 29 June, 2019.

Bringing together newly-commissioned work by four women artists: Jocelyn Allen (UK), Jennifer Pattison (UK), Andrea Fernandes (India) and Uzma Mohsin (India), the exhibition explores diverse themes regarding gender, identity, patriarchy, tradition, culture, memory, place, belonging and difference that shape the lives of women in both countries.

“After the successful premiere of Girl Gaze in the Punjab last year we are delighted to present the adapted exhibition for the Black Country”, comments curator Iona Fergusson.

“At its heart, the show celebrates the unique and exceptional contribution of the Punjabi diaspora in the West Midlands by bringing together four female photographers to create compelling stories about the lives of British-Punjabi girls and women as well as their female relatives and communities in the Punjab.

Each of the artists brings their individual interests and distinctive narrative styles to the work to explore a broad range of complex issues. We are excited by these stories as we hope they will inspire new dialogues regarding what it means to be a Punjabi and British-Punjabi woman today.”

Jocelyn Allen’s You Will Live in This World as A Daughter is a series of playful portraits of girls and young women that explores what it is to be born a daughter of the Punjab. Behind her playful portrayals is a meaningful enquiry into their visibility within traditionally patriarchal communities.

In Panjab Court, Andrea Fernandes offers us a window through which to investigate how culture, tradition, nationality and place impact upon the way we perceive and represent ourselves both collectively and individually and the potential frictions and harmonies that are inherent in our desire for communal and self-actualisation.

Jennifer Pattison’s interest in magical worlds finds expression in the rich traditions of the Punjabi Lori. Her fine art photographs, titled Rice Pudding Moon & The River of Dreams, are inspired by songs that sing of a mother’s love and of a land of dreams. The artist is interested in how lullabies are passed down the generations from grandmother to daughter to grandchild.

Uzma Mohsin’s rich and textured work, Love & Other Hurts, seeks to breathe new life into the personal histories of Punjabi women in the Black Country. What emerges in her work is a complex picture of life in diaspora communities and amongst family members in India, that speaks of courage, resilience, bonds of love and friendship but correspondingly of hardship, loneliness, abandonment and depression.

Curated by Iona Fergusson. Produced by Creative Black Country.

See details at www.blastphotofestival.com/artists/girlgaze

Exhibition Details
When: 24 May to 29 June, 2019
Opening times: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm
Where: British Muslim School, Lodge Road, West Bromwich, B70 8NX