Sutapa Biswas' new film commission Lumen screens as part of the major solo exhibition by the same name, showcasing the work of Sutapa Biswas over the span of her wide-ranging career. The exhibition examines the importance of Biswas' work in challenging the Eurocentric British contemporary art scene since the early 80s, and as a vital contributor to the Black Arts Movement in the UK.
Combining archive material and newly filmed footage around a central monologue, Lumen begins with the story of a birth, and ends on a departure across uncharted waters. Between these two points an episodic narrative recounts intimate scenes from a life, bearing witness to moments euphoria and of trauma. Inspired by her family's own forced departure from India, the work is in part lament for the sights and sounds left behind on their protracted sea voyage to England, while reproaching centuries of colonial rule and its implacable incursions on domestic life.
Lumen (2021) was co-commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art with Art Fund support through the Moving Image Fund for Museums. This programme is made possible thanks to Thomas Dane Gallery and a group of private galleries and individuals. The commission has been additionally supported by Autograph. Supported by Arts Council England.