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BIOGRAPHY

 

"Art for me is the thread with which we sew together our collective memories.
In all my work I try to tell the story of our forever evolving identities.

How we came from the root and branched out is always different....

Our connection is how we go back."

 

Sunara Begum, Biography1 Sunara Begum, Biography2 Sunara Begum, Biography3 Sunara Begum, Biography4 Sunara Begum, Biography5
Sunara Begum, Biography6 Sunara Begum, Biography7 Sunara Begum, Biography8 Sunara Begum, Biography9 Sunara Begum, Biography10

 

Sunara Begum Visual Artist Photographer Filmmaker Fine Art Multi-Media UK Bangladesh Location Film Shoot Mymensingh Research Project Biography

 

STATEMENT

 

'My work is about social and cultural engagement. I am interested in using visuals, text and movement as a storytelling tool in the pursuit of exploring and redefining the way we see the world and by giving insight into forgotten narratives. Every practice is a means of reflection and for me the act of making and creating work is always a search. By tracing, interpreting and reinventing the past, utilising archive and contemporary imagery, I investigate the threads that link individuals across time and how these divergent trajectories intersect and blur definitions of time. Art forces me to ask questions and on my journey I seek to find the answers....’

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

Sunara Begum is a visual artist and filmmaker whose work is perfectly placed between East and West. She uses the worlds of Film, Theatre, Photography and Text to heighten people's experience of the arts and her work seeks to draw out answers from the past to address the present. Sunara's work challenges windows of perception thereby allowing a shift in approach and attitude towards raising cultural awareness, growth and understanding.

 

She is a creative who is always seeking to distil experiences down to root truths and unafraid to re-invent her approaches in reaction to necessary change. Though always choosing to indulge her work on a deeply, personal level, she seeks to use the expressions of it all to inspire and enlighten the lives of others universally. Sunara is regularly associated with the commitment to being a voice for the silenced or less heard in our societies, and thus a genuinely, relevant cultural commentator for our modern times; skilled enough to reveal the inner-beauty underneath and behind the surface-obvious, yet humble enough to continually pay attention to and learn from the useful influences around her.

 

Sunara is considered by many to be a young sage storyteller, who is the embodiment of hope, love and fearlessness. Her films are spiritual affirmations and high meditations on the gifts of culture, art, language, travel, community, family, and home. She is a spirited woman who is continually on the quest to diligently re-envision the world, which in turn elevates all who look through her mirror and see. Sunara is committed to the development of people and the celebration of cultures. Through her work she seeks to bring dignity to her subjects and make our world a better place.

 

CV


Education


2007 – 2008 Central St. Martins College of Art and Design / MA Fine Art
2004 – 2007 Central St. Martins College of Art and Design / BA (Hons) Fine Art
2003 – 2004 Camberwell College of Arts / Art and Design Foundation


Solo Exhibitions


2016 Retracing the Eye / Dimbola Museum & Gallery / Isle of Wight UK
2015 Retracing the Eye / Lionel Wendt Gallery / Colombo Sri Lanka
2015 Truth & Art / Centre for Contemporary Art / Lagos Nigeria
2014 Retracing the Eye / St. Martin in the Fields / London UK
2013 The Modern Griot / Khalili Lecture Theatre SOAS / London UK
2012 Truth & Art / St. Martin in the Fields / London UK
2011 The Water’s Will / Drik Gallery / Dhaka Bangladesh
2010 Ara: A New Face of the Old World / 198 Gallery / London UK
2009 The Trilogy / Departure / London UK
2008 Ara’s World / Shoreditch Gallery / London UK
2007 Abba / East-Side Educational Trust / London UK
2007 Amma / Brady Arts Centre / London UK

Group Exhibitions


2016 V&A – Julia Margaret Cameron at 200 International Conference / London UK
2015 LAFGA – Muri Okunola Park / Lagos Nigeria
2014 Tate Britain – Urban Encounters: Movements, Mobilities, Migrations / London UK
2013 F.A.M.E – Festival of Art & Music Evolution / London UK
2013 Oitij-jo / Bargehouse Oxo Tower Wharf / London UK
2012 Truth & Art / October Gallery / London UK
2010 Addis Foto Fest / Laphto Art Gallery / Addis Ababa Ethiopia
2010 The East London Sukkah / London UK
2010 London Art Fair / Business Design Centre / London UK
2010 Bearspace Gallery / London / UK
2010 London Art Fair / Business Design Centre / London UK
2009 Drik Gallery / Dhaka Bangladesh
2009 Art Vendors – Alhamra Art Council / Lahore Pakistan
2009 LUDA Gallery / St Petersburg Russia
2009 Garden Gallery / Karachi Pakistan
2009 Oxford House / London UK
2008 Nolias Gallery / London UK
2008 Dray Walk Gallery / Brick Lane / London UK
2008 The Bargehouse / London UK
2008 Room 212 Gallery / Bristol UK
2007 East London Photography Festival / Art Pavilion / London UK
2007 Enter 07 / Watermans / London UK
2005 Trinity Buoy Wharf / London UK
2004 National Annexe Gallery / Cape Town South Africa

Festivals & Screenings


2015 Truth & Art / AFRIFF Africa International Film Festival / Lagos Nigeria
2015 Genesis Cinema, Silver Bird Galleria, Lagos Island / Nigeria
2015 Genesis Cinema, City Mall, Lagos Island / Nigeria
2015 Truth & Art / The Quintessence Festival / Lagos Nigeria
2015 Truth & Art / Centre for Contemporary Art / Lagos Nigeria
2015 Truth & Art / I Rep International Film Festival / Lagos Nigeria
2015 Ara’s World / Women as Hidden Influencers / Bonny Island Nigeria
2014 Truth & Art / Lights Camera Africa Festival / Lagos Nigeria
2013 Derek Johnson Truth & Art / AfriKàBa Festival / Hastings UK
2013 The Water’s Will / Whitechapel Library / London UK
2013 The Pilgrim Within / Festival of Art & Music Evolution / London UK
2013 The Water’s Will / Festival of Art & Music Evolution / London UK
2013 The Pilgrim Within / Bargehouse Oxo Tower Wharf / London UK
2012 Visions of a Traveller: DH Lawrence / Planetarium de Vaulx-en-Velin / Lyon France
2012 Visions of a Traveller: DH Lawrence / Lyon Opera House / Lyon France
2012 Truth & Art / Film Africa Rich Mix / London UK
2012 Truth & Art / Bolivar Hall Embassy of Venezuela / London UK
2011 Ancient Futures / Drik Gallery / Dhaka Bangladesh
2011 The Road to Basiliqué / Kembujeh Video Club / Brikama Gambia
2010 Ara’s World & Ara’s Sojourn / Horsebridge Arts Centre / Kent UK
2010 The Road to Basiliqu é / WOMEX World Music Expo / Copenhagen Denmark
2010 The World of Tunde Jegede / Rich Mix / London UK
2009 Ara’s World / Brooklyn Photo Salon / New York USA
2009 African Classical Music Ensemble / Tara Arts / London UK
2008 Ara’s Sojourn / Video Art Gallery / London UK
2008 Ara’s Sojourn / Portobello Film Festival / London UK
2007 Our Story Our Voice / ICA Institute of Contemporary Arts / London UK
2007 Our Story Our Voice / The Pan African Film Festival / Los Angeles California
2006 The Idea / Brady Arts Centre / London UK


Multi-Media Collaborations


2015 New Horizons Series at Muson Centre / Lagos Nigeria
2014 Dunstan Perera Studio / London UK
2013 Africa Centre Summer Festival Piazza / London UK
2013 Nitin Sawhney OneZero Roundhouse / London UK
2013 Guest Projects Africa / London UK
2012 Planetarium de Vaulx-en-Velin / Lyon France
2012 Lyon Opera House / Lyon France
2012 Royal Opera House / London UK
2011 Wiltshire Music Centre / Wiltshire UK
2011 Diana Baroni Trio / Marseilles France
2011 Abuja Philharmonic Orchestra / Abuja Nigeria
2011 Norden Farm Centre for the Arts / Maidenhead UK
2011 Kings Place / London UK
2011 St Ethelburga’s Centre / London UK
2010 Tara Studio Theatre / London UK
2010 Pound Arts Centre / Corsham UK
2010 Wiltshire Music Centre / Wiltshire UK
2010 Beaford Arts Centre / Devon UK
2010 Lee Parish Church / Devon UK
2010 St Mathew’s Church / Devon UK
2009 Contact Theatre / Manchester UK


Collections, Awards, Research & Residencies


2016 Julia Margaret Cameron at 200 International Conference / V&A / UK
2015 Living Legacies Archive / World and Traditional Music at British Library / UK
2015 Truth & Art / Video Archives / Centre for Contemporary Art / Nigeria
2015 Retracing the Eye / Word & Image Department / V&A Collection / UK
2014 Truth & Art / Online Library / Sanya Films / UK
2014 Living Legacies / Supported by Prince Claus Foundation / Netherlands
2013 The Griot’s Tale / Supported by Guest Projects Africa / UK
2012 La Macorina / Supported by Lyon Opera House / France
2011 Tempo Realities / Supported by Openvizor / Bangladesh
2010 Griot Greats / Supported by Xiom / Gambia
2009 Dream Memories / Supported by Axion Foundation / UK
2008 Professional Masters Scheme / Supported by Arts & Humanities Research Council / UK


Community Experience


2015 Volunteer / Chand Aftara Village Teaching Project / Colombo Sri Lanka
2015 Volunteer / Chand Aftara Village Teaching Project / Osun Nigeria
2014 Volunteer / Chand Aftara Village Teaching Project / Bakau Gambia
2013 Volunteer / Chand Aftara Village Teaching Project / Delhi India
2012 Volunteer / Chand Aftara Village Teaching Project / Marrakech Morocco
2011 Volunteer / Chand Aftara Village Teaching Project / Chittagong Bangladesh


Theatre


2014 Emidy: He Who Dared to Dream / Guest Projects Africa
2013 The Griot's Tale / Africa Centre
2013 The Griot's Tale / Guest Projects Africa
2008 Blood Wedding / Departure Arts Centre
2004 Reach / Drill Hall Theatre
2003 Pace / Soho Theatre & Tabernacle Arts Centre
2002 Wide Asleep / Talawa Theatre & Arcola Theatre


Publications


2015 Art is for Transformation / Levekunst
2015 Journey of Ascension / Levekunst
2015 A Journey of Ascension / Vesess
2011 The Legend of Ara / Chand Aftara


Filmography


2014 Night Paintings / London
2013 The Pilgrim Within / London
2013 Truth & Art / London
2012 Visions of a Traveller / Lyon
2012 The Brodsky Quartet / London
2012 Nomadic Mystics / London
2012 African Classical Music / London
2011 The Water’s Will / Dhaka
2011 One Take Wonders / International
2010 Ara Trilogy / London
2010 When Night Falls / London
2010 The Road to Basilique / Paris
2010 The World of Tunde Jegede / London
2009 Menantol / Cornwall
2008 Ara's World / London
2007 Ara's Sojourn / London
2007 Our Story Our Voice / London
2006 The Idea / London
2002 Justice for the Youth / London


Talks / Presentations


V&A, London
Dimbola Museum, London
Quintessence Film Festival, Lagos
Africa International Film Festival, Lagos
Living Legacies Archive, Banjul
St Martin-In-The-Fields, London
Tate Britain, London
Drik Gallery, Dhaka
198 Gallery, London


International Television Broadcasts


2014 NTA – Nigerian Television Authority
2013 Women's Voice – Bangla TV
2013 Living the Life – Islam Channel
2012 Channel S – Bangla TV


Press


2014 Music in Africa
2014 Royal Times
2014 New Telegraph
2014 This is Africa
2014 The Net (Nigerian Entertainment Today)
2014 New Telegraph

 

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