Jagdish Patel will talk about his research-based collaborative art practice with communities in the Midlands, including his work with issues around anti-racism and well-being. Over the past decade, he has been working as a socially engaged visual artist, educator and writer, and he is currently working on a research project examining the inter-relationship between anti-racism, socially engaged art and archives at Coventry University. He will be joined by Nottingham-based photographer Benjamin Elliott, who will give a short presentation about his journey through photography, and launching forums for disabled artists and comedians during lockdown. Jagdish and Benjamin met through Scrambles Photography, a supportive photography group for people experiencing mental ill health.
Jagdish spent his early career working with homeless people in central London. He then worked for the anti-racist charity, the Monitoring Group where he was the Deputy Director. He worked on research as well as many of the campaigns across the country, including those of Stephen Lawrence, Ricky Reel, Michael Menson amongst others.
Since 2009 he has been working as a photography based artist and researcher. He has shown work across the country including at the South Bank centre, Wolverhampton Art gallery, and the New Art Exchange in Nottingham. His work is based in communities, usually working class communities and often involves weaving historical archives into the present. He is one of the founders of the ReFramed Network, a network for Black and Asian photographers across the Midlands, and the Off Centre : the Nottingham centre for Photography and Social Engagement
Benjamin was born in 1983 at Hillingdon Hospital, West London. He lived in West London until he was 19 and then he moved to Nottingham, where he has lived ever since. Throughout his life he has always had people judge him because of his disability. This has often made him depressed , trying to be accepted in society , but it has also given him the strength to pursue pastimes like photography and creating things in his workshop from reclaimed and upcycled products.
He is influenced strongly by other artists with disabilities, who have faced their struggle and overcome it, like Alan Gardner – The Autistic Gardener. His art in photographic form is no different from anyone else’s, although his disability would make you think he would not be capable of taking photographs, because of his spasms, it is obvious that he has overcome this. During the lockdown he has been running an online forum for disabled artists, and a regular comedy forum for disabled comedians. He is an advocate of no matter what your disability you should be given a chance to overcome it.
Spaces on sessions are limited, in order to maintain an informal atmosphere and allow for discussion.
This talk is hosted as part of our Blast! Creative Network programme. Taking place online once a month the BCN programme offers talks, workshops, opportunities and social events to bring emergent artists based in Sandwell or the Black Country a yearlong events programme that provides a space for knowledge sharing and support. You can apply to join the network and learn about upcoming sessions here.
Please message firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend, with a few lines about your practice / interests, why you’d like to join the network, and where you are currently based (with your postcode).