New Practice
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Rooted پیوستہ

Rooted

پیوستہ

 
Rooted پیوستہ (Paivasta) is a public realm artwork, made in collaboration with Lahore based artists Unum Babar and Matt Kushan.

Lahore and Glasgow are twin cities.

We were directly commissioned by the British Council to create a project for Bagh-e- Jinnah (Lawrence Gardens) in 2016, as part of the lead up to the 2018 Lahore Biennale.
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The central artwork, taking the form of an Islamic star, acts as a guide to the exploration of the gardens. Seven points of the star lead to seven non-native trees, planted by British colonisers.

At each of these trees a marble stool offers a place for rest and contemplation.

 
 
The artworks were created out of marble and onyx, locally sourced and built on site by local traditional craftsmen over the course of two weeks.

Our intention was to create an artwork that was beyond decorative- to provide a stage for performance, a kind of keystone for gathering - and to create space to reconnect the gardens to its own past.

These ideas were developed together during our first visit to Lahore in at the start of 2016.
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On 27 March 2016, Easter Sunday, a suicide bombing hit the main entrance of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park - Lahore’s second largest park.

People had gathered to celebrate the Christian holiday. At least 75 people were killed and over 340 people were injured.

More than ever, the importance of coming together and gathering in public parks become central to the project.
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We ran block printing workshops at a Christian girls school in the north of the city. 60 children took part, printing banners on fabric from Pakistan and Scotland. These banners would be used to further decorate Bagh-e- Jinnah during the opening of the artwork .

 
 
Over 500 people came to the opening night on June 3rd. It was an incredible experience.

After the official performance by Olomopolo had finished, people began to organically claim the artwork as their stage. Unplanned music, dance and spoken word performances happened over the hours that followed.
 
 
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Reading Between the Lines

In 2017 Unum Babar and Matt Kushan came to Glasgow, for a six week residency. We invited them to read the city, from their perspective, to open up new conversations and ideas about what it is, was, and could be. The outcomes were presented in the gallery space at Many Studios, curated by Natalia Palombo.
 
 

  • Client: British Council Scotland | Pakistan, Government of Punjab, Lahore Biennale Foundation

  • Location: Lahore, Pakistan

  • Completion: June 2016

  • Collaborators: Unum Babar, Matt Kushan, Olomopolo Media