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Fusion Talk: In Conversation with Artist Nilupa Yasmin


Nilupa Yasmin

Nilupa Yasmin is one of the artists that delivered artwork for These Things Matter Exhibition.

Nilupa Yasmin is an artist and educator. She explores the principles of art and craft and is interested in the notion of culture, self-identity, and anthropology in her practice.

These Things Matter is a small partnership exhibition between Museum of Colour, Bodleian Libraries and Fusion Arts, featuring six objects relating to slavery and empire, and six contemporary responses created by artists.

Nilupa Yasmin's artwork for These Things Matter ''They and Their Children are Slaves''

Nilupa Yasmin wants her work to make you uncomfortable, because nothing about this should make you feel anything less than indignation. Her photographic sculpture brings together intricately folded pages filled with heinous words. While we are drawn to the beauty in these creases, they also expose the ill treatment of enslaved peoples and the harsh reality of our collective history.

''This Act was only one in a long line of legislative measures, renewed frequently, imposing these regulations. The 1701 text had disappeared from historical records by the 19th century, but a single known copy survives, bound into a collection of manuscripts at the Bodleian Library.’'

We caught up with Nilupa to find out more about her artistic practice, commissioned artwork on display, and lastly what is one word you would use to describe the TTM exhibition.

Click to watch Nilupa's interview.

“My piece 'they and their children are slaves' is inspired by 'Act for the better ordering of slaves' - The South Carolina legislation which shows the regime of punishment and judicial killing imposed to maintain power by White people over enslaved Black people and Native Americans.”

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your artistic practice.

My name is Nilupa Yasmin, and I work in many different mixed mediums predominantly photography.

Can you talk us through your commissioned artwork on display at TTM?

I created an installation out of photographs from the South Carolina Act called 'They and Their children are slaves', and the Act actually talks about how the better ordering of slaves occurs. So, the installation piece that I've made very much looks at the photographs of the Act, and I've molded them into these lovely sculptures that create the backdrop of the installation that you see in the glass cabinet.

What is one word you would use to describe the TTM exhibition?

It's IMPORTANT, being important as simple as it sounds, and why this exhibition is needed? and without this we do not make those conversation, and we are not going to have that story to tell. So, I think that's why it's important that we've got this and we're having this.

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Supporters of Fusion Arts

Oxford City Council Arts Council England National Lottery Funded Project Grant National Lottery Community Fund Oxfordshire Community Foundation Here for Culture Doris Field Charitable Trust BBC Children in Need