• 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.

Foliage with flowers with text on top

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

  • [img]As Director, Sarah oversees all aspects of the Centre's activities, ensuring that it supports the most original, rigorous and stimulating research into the history of British art and architecture, and fosters collaboration with our sister-institution, the Yale Center for British Art. Her aim is to share the work and resources of the Paul Mellon Centre as widely as possible and to open up new conversations, ideas and narratives about the histories of British art.

    Through her work as the Centre’s Director and as an art historian, Sarah is interested in experimenting with different formats for communicating and publishing research on British art. She is a strong believer in the power of collaboration and specialises in bringing teams of people together to deliver innovative projects. In 2015, she became the founding co-editor of British Art Studies, an award-winning, open-access journal launched in 2015, which is co-published by the PMC and the Yale Center for British Art. With Andy Ellis of ArtUK, she came up with the idea for Write on Art, which is now an established national art writing competition for school students run annually by ArtUK and the PMC. Sarah is the co-writer and co-host, with Jo Baring, of the Sculpting Lives podcast.

    In 2018, Sarah co-curated The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, with Mark Hallett. She is also the co-editor of The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018, an open-access and peer reviewed digital publication consisting of texts by over ninety authors, which was the winner of the People's Voice Webby Award (2019).

    She co-leads the London, Asia research project with Hammad Nasar, Senior Research Fellow at the PMC, and they will co-curate, with Amy Tobin, an exhibition at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge on the artist Li Yuan-chia and the LYC Museum and Art Gallery he established in Cumbria in the 1970s. Much of her writing has focused on the entangled relationships between Britain and South Asia and she has published widely on this topic. She was a founding partner of the Leverhulme-funded Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, Modernism and the Arts c.1875–1960 international network, and was also Co-Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded Internationalism and Cultural Exchange c.1880–1920 network with Grace Brockington.

    Sarah was recently a Visiting Senior Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art, teaching an MA Special Option course on British modernism for two years, and was a lecturer in the History of Art Department at the University of York from 2008–2013. She has co-curated and contributed to a number of exhibitions, including Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, the Arts and the American West (Nora Eccles Harrison Museum, Utah, 2013), William Etty: Art & Controversy (York Art Gallery, 2011) and Gilbert & George: Major Exhibition (Tate Modern, 2009).

    She was named one of Apollo magazine’s '40 Under 40' in the European art world, and in 2018 was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


    ‘Waves of Light’, Rana Begum (London: Lund Humphries, 2021)

    'Raising Old Ghosts: Linder’s Conversations with the Dead', Linderism (Cambridge: Kettle’s Yard, 2020), pp. 65-71

    ‘Painting Portraits, Recording Lives’, Eileen Hogan: Personal Geographies (New Haven and London: Yale Center for British Art/ Yale University Press, 2019), pp. 188–203

    Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, the Arts and the American West, co-edited with James Mansell and Christopher Scheer (Lopen: Fulgur, 2019)

    Imagined Cosmopolis: Internationalism and Cultural Exchange, 1870s–1920s, co-edited with Charlotte Ashby, Grace Brockington, and Daniel Laqua (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2019)

    The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, co-written with Mark Hallett (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2018)

    The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 1769-2018: A Chronicle (www.chronicle250.com), co-editor and author, published by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

    ‘Savagery, just beneath the surface: William Crozier’s early work’, William Crozier (Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2018), pp. 10–33

    ‘What is to become of the Crystal Palace?’: The Crystal Palace after 1851, co-edited with Kate Nichols (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017)

    ‘The Poetics of Permanence: Inscriptions, Poetry and Memorials of the First World War’, Sculpture Journal, 24:1 (2015), DOI: 10.3828/sj.2015.24.1.6

    ‘“Reuniting What Never Should Have Been Separated”: The Arts and Crafts Movements, Modernism and Sculpture in Britain 1890–1914’, in Martina Droth and Peter Trippi (eds), Change/Continuity: Writing about Art in Britain Before and After 1900, Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 14: 2 (Summer, 2015)

    ‘Henry Moore and Direct Carving: Technique, Concept, Context’, in Henry Moore: Sculptural Process and Public Identity (London: Tate Research, 2015)

    ‘“A Knot of Violent Living’”: Henri Gaudier-Brzeska’s Wrestlers’, in New Rhythms. Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Art, Dance and Movement 1911 (Cambridge: Kettle’s Yard, 2015)

    ‘William Rothenstein, the ‘Indian Boom’ and the India Society’, in From Bradford to Benares: The Art of Sir William Rothenstein (Bradford: Cartwright Hall, 2015)

    ‘Victorian Sculpture, International Exhibitions and Empire’, in Martina Droth, Jason Edwards and Michael Hatt (eds), Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention 1837-1901 (Yale Center for British Art/ Yale University Press, 2014), pp. 298–305

    Wrestlers (1914) by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Tate ‘In Focus’ project (2013): http://www.tate.org.uk/art/researchpublications/gaudier-brzeska-wrestlers

    ‘Crafting Connections: The India Society and inter-imperial artistic networks in Edwardian Britain’, in Susheila Nasta (ed.), India in Britain: South Asian Networks and Connections, 1858-1950 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 96–114

    ‘“Alive and significant”: Aspects of Indian Art, Stella Kramrisch and Dora Gordine in South Kensington c. 1940’, Wasafiri: International Contemporary Writing, 27: 2 (2012), pp. 40–51

    'Ezra Pound's New Order of Artists: "The New Sculpture" and the critical formation of a sculptural avant-garde in early twentieth-century Britain, Sculpture Journal, 21:2 (2012), pp. 9–21

    'Intimacy and Distance: Physicality, Race and Paint in Etty's "The Wrestlers", in Sarah Burnage, Mark Hallett and Laura Turner (eds), William Etty: Art & Controversy (London: Philip Wilson Publishers in association with York Museums Trust, 2011), pp. 75–90

    'Sex, Stone and Empire: Direct Carving and "British" Sculpture', in Modern British Sculpture (London: Royal Academy, 2011), pp. 100–105

    ‘Modernism and the Visual Arts’, in Peter Brooker, Andrzej Gasiorek, Deborah Parsons and Andrew Thacker (eds), Modernisms Handbook (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 540–561

    ‘The “essential quality of things”: E.B. Havell, Ananda Coomaraswamy and Indian Sculpture in Britain’, Journal of Visual Culture in Britain (Autumn, 2010), pp. 239–264

    Gilbert & George: Major Exhibition (London: Tate, 2007), author and editor of bibliography, biography and other endmatter for the Tate catalogue, pp. 198–208

  • 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 is a curator, writer, and strategic advisor based in London. He is co-curator (with Irene Aristizábal) of British Art Show 9 (2021–2022), the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK, organised every five years by Hayward Gallery Touring; Principal Research Fellow at the Decolonising Arts Institute, UAL where he is developing the ‘Curating Nation’ project; and, Lead Curator at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum to support Coventry’s City of Culture Programme for 2021-22, which includes curating the Turner Prize exhibition in 2021.

    Earlier, he was the inaugural Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation, London (2018-19); Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2012-16); Arts Director for the Festival of Muslim Cultures (2006-7) and, co-founded (with Anita Dawood) the pioneering hybrid arts organisation, Green Cardamom, London (2004-12).

    As Former Senior Research Fellow worked with the Paul Mellon Centre on a freelance basis, Hammad co-led the London, Asia research project with Sarah Victoria Turner. At the PMC he has collaboratively shaped a diverse range of programmes, such as the expansive digital programme London, Asia, Art, Worlds; Showing, Telling, Seeing: Exhibiting South Asia in Britain conference; a symposium titled The LYC Museum & Art Gallery and the Museum as Practice; a 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.

    Known for collaborative, research-driven and exhibition-led inquiry, he has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions internationally. His exhibition projects include: Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (2005–2013); Excessive Enthusiasm: Ha Bik Chuen and the Archive as Practice (2015); Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play – the UAE’s national pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017); and Structures of Meaning | Architectures of Perception as guest curator for Abu Dhabi Art (2018–2019). He recently curated (with Kate Jesson), the exhibition Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition (2018–2019), at Manchester Art Gallery.

    Hammad is a member of the board of Mophradat (Belgium), and the editorial board of Tate’s magazine, Tate Etc. He has also served in juries, boards and advisory roles for numerous organisations internationally, including: the V&A Museum’s Jameel Prize 4 (UK), Art Basel’s crowdfunding partnership with Kickstarter (Switzerland), Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts, UK), Delfina Foundation (UK), Alserkal Avenue (UAE) and the 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.

  • 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.