Preview | Thursday 30th March 6pm
Exhibition Continues until | 30th June 2017
Opening times | Mon- Sat 12-8pm
The Alexandria Library | 247 Wilmslow Road | Manchester | M14 5LW
Saffina Bhatti was born in the UK. She graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with an MA in Fine Art (2016). Bhatti is an interdisciplinary artist; creating installations, sculptures and paintings, which draw upon her migrant heritage. Themes of journeys and identity permeate her practice, which is distinguished by the artist’s use of vivid colours influenced by the textiles, food and architecture of Pakistan.
“This cloth: An Archaeology of Identity” brings together old and new works by Bhatti, each revealing a deep concern with the construction of identity. As a second generation migrant from a traditional background Bhatti’s work both embodies and reveals tensions between communal and familial expectations – questioning the identity imposed upon you, and the personal journey to find the real self. Bhatti speaks about the canvas in her work as a cloth “a cloth that we cut and stitch to fit us” – a kind of identity. There is some freedom in the painting, but it is constrained by the strict geometric forms and the confines of the rigid canvas frame. Some areas of the paintings give partial access to the core or base of the canvas (the fabric of your being), but in other areas of the work layers of gloss restrict access. Bhatti describes the use of gloss medium as a barrier, the ability to see what is there but denied to touch, which acts like a screen in her work much like a modern computer or mobile phone screen. Bhatti’s process involves the technique of layering; scraping back to reveal what is beneath and painting over. It is in this sense her work physically embodies the archaeology of identity, and to some degree the remaking of the identity.
Bhatti has exhibited widely across Manchester. Recent exhibitions include:
The Hidden and Revealing, Holden Galley (2016), Discovery, The Blade Brown Art Space (2015), Three First Ladies, The Holden Gallery (2015) and 4000 Miles, Federation House, Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces (2014), “Alternative Reality” and “Keeping The Balance” part of If Not Here Where, Didsbury Parsonage (2013) and “The Sleeper Has Awoken” part of Floorplan, No 4 Piccadilly Place, Manchester (2012).
All images ©Saffina Bhatti 2017. All rights reserved.