Gallery Shorts | Suki Dhanda: Race, Place & Diversity By The Seaside
From 8 February to 22 March 2018, photographer and Plymouth College of Art graduate Suki Dhanda returned to Plymouth and to where she began her photography journey, with a new exhibition commissioned by The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, ‘Race, Place & Diversity By The Seaside’.
To find out more about her new series of work, we sat down for a chat with photographer, Suki Dhanda – watch it now above.
Suki has gained a reputation as one of London’s leading portrait photographers, with portraits of subjects for The Observer and The Guardian including Blue Planet presenter Sir David Attenborough, actress Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy), former Prime Minister Tony Blair, singer and actress Rihanna, and artist Yoko Ono.
In shooting new portraits for this show, Dhanda spent six months visiting Plymouth, capturing local residents and visitors spending time relaxing with their friends and families by the coast, in a project that highlights the possibilities of co-existing in a shared space. Provoked by Dhanda’s personal reaction to the 2016 Brexit vote, the work profiles a series of people who may have begun to question their sense of belonging and their place in the UK since the vote was cast.
Dhanda’s personal practice, which is shot on film using an analogue camera, focuses on ethnicity, people and place. She said, “My own upbringing has largely influenced my personal work, which explores ideas and themes of diversity and belonging. My parents settled in the UK from India in the mid-60s. I was born here and identify myself as a British Asian, being raised with a mix of both English and Asian culture.”
Over the course of her career, Dhanda has been involved in numerous group exhibitions, most notably touring internationally as one of eight photographers commissioned by the British Council to focus on aspects of Contemporary Muslim Experience in Britain. Her work has also appeared in a group exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery (zerozerozero), and as part of Art on the Underground in celebration of the Chinese Year of the Dog, Dhanda’s portraits of people with their dogs were exhibited across London Underground.
The new body of work created for ‘Race, Place & Diversity by the Seaside’ explores the changing face of Plymouth’s population and seeks to uncover and celebrate the diverse community of people who have made the city their home. People from a multitude of backgrounds have historically congregated at the British seaside with their families and loved ones to take in the views, walk along the shore and swim in the sea.