Platform For Arts – Art on the Underground

Usurp is proud to have organised an exhibition of digital portraits by local people in Harrow Middlesex which Platform for Arts (now called Art on the Underground)  made into 72 posters displayed at North Harrow Station.

The portraits were produced in workshops devised by Harrow based artist Poulomi Desai and took place Harrow’s focal points for arts and culture: Usurp Art, Harrow Museum and Harrow Arts Centre.

The works were inspired by imagery from Poulomi Desai’s book and exhibition Red Threads which explored personal and visual identity.

Desai encouraged the participants to imagine what it would be like to change their identity. They experimented with costume, disguise, facial and bodily expression and recorded their transformations through photography. Using pastel and paint, they made patterns and decorative detail on some of the photographs to add a further layer to the new identities they were creating. Support was given for people dealing with mental health issues and the project developed well being and confidence. The results are a range of self portraits that offer an intriguing, playful and visually dynamic representation of Harrow’s diverse community.

Other project partners included Harrow Women’s Association, Arts Culture Harrow which runs Harrow Museum and Harrow Arts Centre. They worked with Harrow Asian Archive to invite community groups to take part in two of Poulomi’s workshops.

The exhibition and workshops were funded by Usurp Art, Arts Council of England, and Awards for All.

Red Threads was launched by the Deputy Mayor of Harrow Councillor Jean Lammiman in an events attended by the participants and artist Poulomi Desai on June 5th 2006.