• 28 September to 26 October 2017
  • 6:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Part of the Public Lecture Course. A series of five lectures designed for those who may not have a background in art or art history but who would like to learn more about the history of British art.
  • Paul Mellon Centre

The Public Lecture Course is fully booked however lectures will be livestreamed every Thursday (until 26 October) at 7pm GMT, past lectures will also be available to watch at anytime. Click here to view.


Figure 1.
Britain, South Asia: Entangled Histories ,



The PMC’s third Public Lecture Course will explore the entangled histories of Britain and South Asia through art and visual culture.  It will be convened by Hammad Nasar and Sarah Victoria Turner (Deputy Director, PMC), the co-leaders of the PMC’s new London, Asia project, with lectures by a wide range of expert invited speakers.

The course will take a long view of the cultural relationships between London and South Asia covering topics from the eighteenth century through to the present day. Lectures will include encountering:

  • the East India Company and Visual Culture in Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century London
  • art, craft and colonial display in the nineteenth century through the career of John Lockwood Kipling (subject of a recent exhibition at the V&A)
  • South Asian artists, art schools and the British art scene in the twentieth century
  • The image of South Asian-British relations on screen, from Merchant Ivory to Bollywood
  • contemporary perspectives through the work of artists and curators

No prior art historical knowledge is necessary. Each lecture will be accompanied by a discussion led by the course convenors.

About the speakers

  • Sarah Victoria Turner, Deputy Director for Research, Paul Mellon Centre

    The Deputy Director for Research is responsible for the Centre's lively events programme, assists the Director and Deputy Director for Collections and Publications with all aspects of the Centre's activities, and collaborates on research projects with colleagues at the Yale Centre for British Art, as well as teaching on the Centre's Yale-in-London programme. The role also involves leading the implementation of new digital projects, such as the online journal British Art Studies

    As Deputy Director for Research, Sarah contributes to the Centre's dynamic research culture, and her own study focuses particularly on art and visual culture in Britain and the British Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She specializes in cultural relationships between Britain and India in this period and has published widely on the display and reception of Indian art in Britain - a topic that is the focus of her forthcoming monograph, provisionally entitled Indian Impressions: Encounters with South Asia in British Art, c. 1900-1940.

    Before joining the Centre, Sarah was a lecturer in the History of Art Department at the University of York. She has worked on a number of exhibitions including Gilbert & George: Major Exhibition (Tate Modern, 2009) and William Etty: Art & Controversy (York Art Gallery, 2011), and developed an online version of this latter display in collaboration with York Museums Trust and the University of York's Digital Library Team. 

    Sarah sits on the Advisory Board for Tate Research's Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity online catalogue, has participated on the Leverhulme-funded international network Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, Modernism and the Arts c.1875-1960, is co-Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded network Internationalism and Cultural Exchange c.1880-1920, and is co-founder of the South Asian Arts Group.

    Sarah holds a PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, an MA from the University of Leeds, and a BA from the University of Cambridge. She has a wide range of interests revolving around art in Britain from 1800 to 1950.

  • Rosie Dias is Associate Professor in the History of Art at the University of Warwick. She specialises in eighteenth and nineteenth-century British art, in particular exhibition culture, printmaking and the art of colonial India. Her monograph, Exhibiting Englishness: John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery and the Formation of a National Aesthetic was published by Yale University Press in 2013.

  • Hammad Nasar

    As Senior Research Fellow working with the PMC on a freelance basis, Hammad will co-lead the London, Asia project with Sarah Turner. He will help shape a diverse range of programmes, such as the conference Showing, Telling, Seeing: Exhibiting South Asia in Britain and the public lecture course, and research initiatives (including awards, displays and publications) to explore the ways in which the growing field of modern and contemporary art history in Asia intersects with, and challenges, existing histories of British art.

    Hammad is a curator, writer, and was Head of Research and Programmes at Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong (2012-2016), where he initiated the collaborative London, Asia project with the Paul Mellon Centre. He earlier co-founded (with Anita Dawood) the non-profit arts organisation Green Cardamom (2004-2012). His most recent exhibition, Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play, is the UAE’s national pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), and is accompanied by a book-length publication.

    At AAA he reorganized the research function along a set of ‘content priorities’ including: exhibition histories; art writing and its circulation; innovation through tradition; histories of performance art; and, pedagogy. He also developed numerous collaborative research projects with diverse institutions (including Clark Art Institute, Indonesian Visual Art Archive, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi), Museum of Modern Art (NY), NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (Singapore) and the University of Hong Kong) – many with public components, including conferences, workshops, displays and publications. 

    At Green Cardamom, he championed exhibition-led inquiry, frequently realised with public museums and universities (including British Museum, Cartwright Hall (Bradford), Royal Geographical Society, Whitworth Gallery (Manchester), and Whitechapel Gallery), and accompanied by symposia and scholarly publications. Key projects include: Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space at Johnson Museum, Cornell University & Nasher Museum, Duke University (2012-13); Drawn from Life at Abbot Hall, Kendal (2011); Beyond the Page: The Miniature as Attitude in Contemporary Art from Pakistan at Manchester Art Gallery & USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena (2006-10); and Karkhana: A Contemporary Collaboration at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT and Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (2005-7).

    He serves on the Editorial Board of Tate’s magazine, Tate etc; has been a jury member for the V&A Museum’s Jameel Prize, and Art Basel’s crowdfunding partnership with Kickstarter to support non-profits; and plays an advisory role for a number of arts organisations internationally, including Delfina Foundation (UK), Alserkal Avenue (UAE) and Lahore Biennial Foundation (Pakistan). 

    Hammad was a Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme (2006) and an AHRC-funded Research Fellow at Goldsmiths College (supervised by Irit Rogoff) in 2007/8.

  • Said Adrus was born in Kampala, East Africa of Indian Parents who migrated to
    Kenya, Africa before the Indian Partition.

    Displaced to Switzerland in the early 1970’s with his family, his formative years
    were spent near the capital Berne where his family still live. Having to adapt to
    new environment and learn German and French languages, Said continued his
    Secondary Education in Europe.

    Later Said Adrus came to Britain and studied Fine Art at Nottingham Trent
    Polytechnic and Post Graduate Studies at University of London. As an
    International Artist, for the past 25 years Said has worked on numerous projects
    in the UK and abroad, including The Place is Here, Nottingham Contemporary
    2017 ( now Touring to MIMA in Middlesborough ), Non Places, Burgdorf,
    Switzerland 2016, Pavilion Recaptured 2014, New Art Exchange, Nottingham &
    The 2nd International Triennale 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey.

    Other exhibitions include FSCA Gallery, in Mumbai, India, Change Directory -
    Kunsthalle Bern, Belonging - Shedhalle Zurich, Switzerland and Transforming
    The Crown-New York, The 4th Havana Biennale, Cuba. Projects in Public Art
    have been created with Bhajan Hunjan in Leicester- Cultural Mapping

    The Lost Pavilion project was screened at Tate Britain in London and then the
    substantial exhibition shown at Southampton Museum & Art Gallery in (2006) and
    The LightBox Art Gallery & Museum, Woking (2008).

    In 2015, Said undertook the Progr. artists residency in Bern, Switzerland & in
    2009 he was Artist in Residence at Balfron Tower in East London as part of Bow
    Arts International Artists Residency. He also exhibited at BATPACK 2010 and
    2011 in East London at the Mile End Pavilion, East London.
    Said showed his Video Installation Qawali Trance in summer 2013, at the
    Istanbul Triennale, Turkey & Urban Dialogues, Red Gallery, Hoxton, London, UK.

    His work is represented in various Public and Private collections including
    Southampton Museum & Art Gallery, The Lightbox Gallery, Woking, Surrey,
    Bradford Museum & Art Gallery, Yorkshire, Leicestershire Education Authority,
    Nottinghamshire County Council and Valcellina Museum of Contemporary Art,
    Claut, Italy.

    Said lives and works between London, UK and Bern, Switzerland.

  • David Alesworth is a Visual Artist, Landscape Consultant, Researcher of Garden History and an Art Educator, who has lived and worked in Karachi and Lahore for more than twenty years.

    He was born in Wimbledon, and completed his Bachelors from Wimbledon School of Art, was awarded the Picker fellowship at Kingston University and completed an MFA in New Media from the Transart Institute, Berlin, in 2010.

    He has exhibited widely, notably in 1999, Fukuoka Asian Art Trienniale, Japan , The Third Asia Pacific Trienniale, Brisbane, Australia 1999, “Lines of Descent” Noosa, Cairns, Perc Tucker, Bundaberg and Rockhampton galleries (Australia) 2000-2001, “Happiness”: a survival guide for art and life, Mori Museum, Japan, 2003. “The Other” National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, India, 2005, “The Rising Tide” Mohatta Museum, Karachi, “Gardens of Babel” solo show at Rohtas-2 Gallery, Lahore, 2011, “Lines of Control” British Council, London, UK, 2011,
    Berlin Biennale-8 2014, Dhalem Museum, Berlin. "The Garden of Ideas" Agha Khan Museum, Toronto 2014-2015, Berkely Art Museum, California (BAMPFA) “The Architecture of Life”, 2016. Dhaka Art Summit, “The Missing One” curated by Nada Raza, DAS, 2016. V&A Jameel Prize, shortlist exhibition, Pera Museum, Istanbul 2016-2018 international touring exhibition.

    His works are in a number of public, private and international collections, including
    Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Karachi Municipal Corporation, National Gallery of Pakistan, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, AMA Foundation, Santiago, Chile, Agha Khan Museum, Toronto and the Collection of - HH Sh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi

    Alesworth lives and works between Pakistan and the UK maintaining a studio in Bristol and taught until recently at the School of Visual Art and Design, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.

    He has also worked with Agha Khan Cultural Services, Pakistan as a horticultural consultant for the restoration of several historically significant landscapes.