Delfina Foundation

De-constructing Collections: The Colonial Past and Contemporary International Collections


Date:  Thursday, 8 March 2018
Time:  18:30 – 20:00
Venue:  Delfina Foundation
Tickets:  Eventbrite [Full, join waitlist]

Inspired by the research residencies that form part of Collecting as Practice, this evening will explore the colonial history of collecting within the UK, and curatorial and artistic strategies to continue to collect and create new meaning for collections both in the UK and internationally.


Devika Singh is an art historian, critic and curator based in Paris. She is an affiliated scholar at the Centre of South Asian Studies of the University of Cambridge and a member of the Global Art Prospective at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) in Paris. She is currently writing a book on artistic practices in post-independence India for Reaktion Books and has published extensively in journals, exhibition catalogues and magazines including Third Text, Journal of Art Historiography, Art History, Modern Asian Studies, frieze, Art Press and Take on Art. Singh holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and was the Smuts research fellow at its Centre of South Asian Studies. She has also held a fellowship at the Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art (Max Weber Foundation), an AHRC fellowship at the Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC, a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) fellowship at the Freie Universität, Berlin, and an André Chastel fellowship at the French Academy at Rome (Villa Medici). She curated the exhibition Planetary Planning (Dhaka Art Summit, 2018) and the India pavilion of Dubai Photo Exhibition (2016) and co-curated Gedney in India (CSMVS, Mumbai, 2017; Duke University 2018).

Avani Tanya is an interdisciplinary artist working with image, text, found objects and sculpture. Guided by an interest in themes of urban life, the nature of memory and forms of storytelling, her practice primarily involves research, collecting, and documentation. Avani Tanya, was in joint residence at Delfina Foundation and V&A in summer 2017. Her works have been shown at the Daegu Photo Biennale in Daegu, Brandts Museum for Kunst & Visuel Kultur in Odense; Triveni Kala Sangam in New Delhi; Markus Kirche in Hannover; Instituto Cervantes Nueva Delhi in New Delhi; Tokyo Geidai in Tokyo; Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan in Bangalore; The Japan Foundation in New Delhi; and at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad.

Claire Wintle research focuses on collecting and museums and examines the ways in which the material and visual world interacts with the politics of empire, nationalism and decolonisation. She has a particular interest in the interpretation of India in museums and exhibitions. Claire read American Studies (BA Hons) and Art Gallery and Museum Studies (MA) at Manchester University before being awarded an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Studentship in the History of Art at the University of Sussex and the Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton & Hove. Her research has been supported by the AHRC, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, the University of Cambridge’s Crowther-Beynon Fund, the Henry James Green Trust and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She has published in journals including The American Historical Review, Third Text, History Workshop Journal and the Journal of the History of Collections. Her monograph, Colonial Collecting and Display: Encounters with Material Culture from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (2013), is published by Berghahn and she edited, with Ruth Craggs, Cultures of Decolonisation: Transnational Productions and Practices, 1945-1980 (Manchester UP, 2016). She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was a Caird Research Fellow at London's National Maritime Museum in 2013. In 2018, Claire holds a fellowship at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art to work on British museums and decolonisation.

Nana Oforiatta-Ayim (biography will be published shortly)