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Meera Margaret Singh: Lalbagh

Explore the boundary between theatre and real life in this three-channel video of India's Lalbagh.

An ancient hilltop in India takes centre stage in a new artwork. Meera Margaret Singh’s Lalbagh is a three-channel looped video installation that examines the body language and movements of numerous individuals and groups of people on a three billion-year-old rock formation in Bangalore, India. The exhibit is presented as part of the explorASIAN festival and will be recognized at our Vaisahki Celebration and Opening Reception on April 26.

With its unusual sloping rock face, the national geological monument of Lalbagh Hill has been a popular gathering place for locals and tourists for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Using this rock as a main character, the video observes a diverse range of individuals (varying in terms of socio-economics, religion, age, gender) who serve as secondary characters, moving in and out of the frame and over and beyond the rock.

Among the figures is a man descending a rocky slope, stopping to stretch his arms towards his feet; adults talking animatedly as they traverse below a ridgeline of glistening stone; and a group of women climbing towards an ornate white tower at the crest of a distant hill. With its links and repetitions throughout the three channels, Meera Margaret Singh: Lalbagh becomes a subtly choreographed sequence of movements over time.

About the Artist

Meera Margaret Singh is a visual artist based in Toronto, Canada. She holds a BA in Anthropology, a BFA in Photography from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal. Singh has been the recipient of a number of residencies and awards, including Canada Council for the Arts production/creation grants, an Ontario Arts Council mid-career grant, and a Toronto Arts Council visual arts grant.

She has been a selected artist at the Banff Centre for the Arts; McCain Artist-in-Residence at the OCAD University in Toronto; JACA Residency in Brazil; scholarship winner and participant in the Magnum Workshop with photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti; selected artist in an international residency with German photographer Thomas Struth at the Atlantic Centre for the Arts in Florida; visiting artist/instructor at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India; artist-in-residence at The Art Gallery of Ontario; and artist-in-residence at 1Shanti Rd in Bangalore, India.

Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions and festivals internationally. She is currently an instructor in the Photography department at OCAD University and the Interim Head of Education and Community Outreach at Gallery 44 in Toronto.

Curator: Jordan Strom
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery

Image credit: Installation image of Meera Margaret Singh: Lalbagh (2015) at Surrey Art Gallery. Photo by Scott Massey.