Nikhil Chopra: Space Oddity, Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Nikhil Chopra, Space Oddity, 18 hour performance, 2013

Space Oddity, Nikhil Chopra, 18 hour performance, Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Following his three day live performance in the Gallery in response to our Indian decorative object collection, Nikhil Chopra has created spectacular portraits on the walls of our Focus Gallery. Space Oddity accompanies an exhibition of photographs from a previous performance entitled Inside Out.

Space Oddity was an 18 hour artistic performance devised by Nikhil Chopra to play out over three days. During this time, he produced charcoal drawings of members of the community who live in Wolverhampton but who hail from somewhere else. Nikhil also captured onlookers on the walls of the Gallery, as a way of examining the role of portraiture in the Art Gallery’s collection and reflecting India’s colonial past.

The title Space Oddity is taken from the 1969 David Bowie song, and reflects the transition of the time – women’s rights, the empowerment of the working class, booming Western economies and hundreds of thousands of migrants from former English colonies. Nikhil Chopra has chosen this title to elude to the strangeness of a place, experienced by those who came to England around this time.

Costumes designed by Loise Braganza.

This exhibition is part of Shakti, a collaboration with Meadow Arts who have invited contemporary artists of Indian origin to respond to and interact with historic collections of South Asian art at venues across the Midlands and Wales, including Powis Castle and Kedleston Hall.