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Beyond the Page: South Asian Miniature Painting and Britain, 1600 to Now

Tuesday, April 16

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This major touring exhibition explores how the traditions of South Asian miniature paintings have been reclaimed and reinvented by modern and contemporary artists.

‘Beyond the Page’ includes a fantastic selection of historic works featuring battle scenes, love affairs, spiritual parables and exquisite depictions of the natural world drawn from major collections. Many are rarely displayed due to their fragility. They are shown alongside modern and contemporary works by artists from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, the Netherlands, UK and USA.

South Asian miniature painting is defined by its intricate craftsmanship, intimate scale and intense narrative. ‘Beyond the Page’ focuses on Britain’s role in its development since the 1600s and explores how, from the 1900s onwards, artists have taken it beyond the pages of illuminated manuscripts to experimental forms that include installations, sculpture and film.

It’s believed there are around 100,000 South Asian miniatures held in museum, gallery and library collections across the UK, yet they are rarely seen. This exhibition is also a chance to explore what and why we collect – as well as shine a light on some beautiful works from Plymouth’s permanent collection. A new display case featuring a small selection of beautiful Mughal watercolours from our historically important Cottonian Collection will be on show in our 100 Journeys gallery at the same time as ‘Beyond the Page’.

‘Beyond the Page’ is curated by Hammad Nasar and Anthony Spira with advice from Emily Hannam, and is accompanied by a new catalogue. The exhibition is organised by MK Gallery in partnership with The Box.

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Saturday, July 20
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Hettie Judah, writer and exhibition curator, shares insights from her research for her book, Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood which explores the joys, messes, myths and mishaps of parenting through visual culture.
Wednesday, July 24
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Take a deeper lunchtime look into ‘The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure’.
Saturday, July 27
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Come and immerse yourselves in an exhibition that explores pivotal moments in Plymouth’s past and present relationship with the sea.

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