Saif Osmani is an interdisciplinary creative practitioner specialising in the fine arts and architectural design. Influenced by his time working in the architecture field, his abstract expressionist paintings portray a social realism that reflect cultural shifts resulting from human migration and changes in the built environment. He has held group and solo exhibitions across the UK, Europe and in Asia.
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Silk Rivers at Kew Gardens
This ambitious project by Kinetika explores the unique relationship between London and Kolkata through a year’s artistic exchange between communities along the Thames Estuary and Hooghly River.
Saif worked alongside an international team of contemporary and traditional artists, writers and photographers to capture and interpret the experience of journeying along these two mighty rivers.
Working in 20 locations from Murshidabad to Batanagar (Hooghly) and Kew Gardens to Southend (Thames) to reinterpret a shared heritage, Silk Rivers is raising cultural awareness of the Indo-British relationship through engaging diaspora communities and connecting young people with artists along the route.
Through artist led workshops (Sept 2016-April 2017) in the 20 communities, Saif created content through drawings inspired by the collections and archives at Kew Gardens that capture British and Indian intangible culture.
This material inspired the creation of 20 hand-painted Bengal silk scrolls inspired by the Bengali tradition of Patachitra to share their stories.
From September to December 2017, an international group of artists, writers and photographers were invited to take part on foot and by boat to experience the stories of the two interconnected rivers.
The Kew scroll is expected to exhibit again in 2018.
Copyright Saif Osmani 2018
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The Kew Gardens scroll
Scrolls showcased at the Nash Conservatory, Kew Gardens
(Photo credit: Kinetika)
Exhibition opening by BBC Presenter Babita Sharma
Transfering Kew's architectural features onto the scroll
Drawing inspiration from Kew's permanent collections