Out of the Frame | Then, Now and Forever

Ranbir Kaur 11 September – 29 October 2021

Ranbir Kaur | Out of The Frame

11 September 2021 – 29 October 2021 at Ort Gallery

Out of The Frame features handcrafted South Asian arts and crafts created by rangoli and textile artist, Ranbir Kaur. It showcases Ranbir Kaur’s expertise in traditional Indian crafting techniques and the knowledge acquired from her extensive research of South Asian craftwork conducted over her 30 year long career.

Coming from a textile background, Ranbir Kaur has refined her skills in Indian craft making passed down to her from her elders and strived to expand her understanding of South Asian artistry. She has traveled across Asia, researching different forms of creativity and craftwork, including tie dye in Bhuj in Gujarat, India and felt making in Istanbul, enabling her to combine different techniques to create unique and contemporary takes on traditional artforms.

The title ‘Out of The Frame’ is inspired by the integral use of frames within Ranbir Kaur’s creative process.

“Frames help me improve my needlework by keeping fabric firmly in place and makes everything more comfortable and enjoyable for me. So because I use frames all the time the idea just came to my mind for the title of this exhibition.”

The exhibition captures some of the everyday stories and practices within Indian life such as Ranbir Kaur’s intricately hand embellished wedding dress which took a year to complete and wooden printing blocks hand carved by Indian children as a means to pay their school tuition fees. The diversity of Indian culture is also highlighted with Ranbir Kaur’s dolls sporting clothes and accessories reflective of the varying fashion trends of each Indian state, with each doll named after a traditional dance from their respective state.

Arts and crafting techniques are passed down through generations and embody the history and culture of communities across South Asia. Crafting is usually practiced by women in the community and is sometimes labelled as “women’s work” which can invalidate the level of skill and creativity necessary to master the crafting techniques women have refined over decades. Out of The Frame celebrates and gives recognition to the beauty and dexterity of craftwork practiced in the everyday lives of South Asian women.

This exhibition is curated by Jaleesa Padmore with support from Ort Gallery. The project has been funded by Arts Council England.