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Bring Your Light: Bow Arts x Chila Burman present the Bow Open 2023

Thursday 19th October 2023 – Sunday 17th December 2023 , 10:00am to 4:00pm

Spanning a wide range of mediums and subject matter, this exhibition featuring 26 artists across Bow Arts’ Studios and Artist Educator programme is a joyful, playful, defiant, and insurgent collection of artwork that radiates strength and courage in the face of the everyday.

Featuring the work of:

▪ Annamaria Antonazzo ▪ Juanjo Barreda ▪ Tom Berry ▪ Chloe Booth▪ Adam Boyd ▪ Malina Busch ▪ Eric Fong ▪ Kevin Franklin ▪ Andrew Friend & Sitraka Rakotoniaina (VVFA) ▪ Green (Yong Woon Park) ▪ Sarah Hodder ▪ Yang-En Hume ▪ WooJin Joo ▪Miyuki Kasahara ▪ LUAP ▪ Jiacun Li ▪ Tabitha Powles ▪ Liaqat Rasul ▪ Harry Reed ▪ Luke Anthony Rooney ▪ Katherine Rose ▪ Sasan Sahafi ▪ Liam Scully ▪ Sila Sen ▪ Joyce Treasure ▪

This year’s Bow Open is curated by artist and activist Chila Burman. Chila needs little introduction. Her artworks are renowned for fusing art, autobiography and activism. Notorious for her collage and neon artworks, including ‘Remembering A Brave New World’, the Tate Britain Winter Commission 2020, an iconic artist (as her upcoming collaboration with Palace Skateboards references), and the author of the essay ‘There Have Always Been Great Black Women Artists’, this exhibition encourages viewers to think about the nuances of Chila’s provocation to ‘Bring Your Light’, and recontextualise the possibilites of everything we have to give.

“I really think the world is in a lot of turbulence right now. I think it’s a really good opportunity for artists to bring light out. There are a lot of people who are still feeling angry and uncertain about the future. We want this show to provoke people to feel magical, dazzling, courageous, and passionate. It’s great to be involved in a show that’s political and experimental and fun.”

Chila Kumari Singh Burman, Guest Curator 2023

The Bow Open is Bow Arts’ annual showcase of astonishing artwork created exclusively by our Studio Holders and Artist Educators. Each year, a different guest curator is invited to to select the work.

Read phase 3 of artist Joyce Treasure’s work ‘The Breakaway State’

Accompanying Joyce Treasure’s performance art video piece on display in the Nunnery Gallery is a fictional academic work. Click below to read.

Past events in the public programme

181 Bow Road
London, London E3 2SJ United Kingdom
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More about the Bow Open 

Every year, a different guest curator is invited to select the work, giving each exhibition a unique and distinct perspective. Events accompany the exhibition, with chances to take part in hands-on workshops with artists and curator-led discussions. A staple of the Nunnery Gallery programme, it is the only exhibition in the space dedicated solely to the presentation of Bow Arts members.

Previous curators have included Alex Chinneck, Leyla Reynolds for gal-dem, Anj Smith, artist collective Baesianz, Bob and Roberta Smith with Skye Sherwin, Mark Wallinger and Carey Young.

About Chila Burman

Chila Kumari Singh Burman has a widely recognised, unique visual identity. Born and raised within the Punjabi Hindu culture of her parents, Chila’s upbringing has shaped her practice and experience of the world, and is one of the key reasons why her works have come to speak to several generations of young multicultural communities in Britain.

For over 13  years, she has served as a trustee on the board of Rich Mix, a charity celebrating the diversity of London through an aspiring program of contemporary culture.

Chila Burman’s practice is devoted to challenging stereotypes and placing alternative perspectives of Britishness at the forefront of art history. Her works reach global audiences. She has exhibited widely in both solo and group shows nationally and internationally, and represented Britain at the Havana Biennale in 1996. A number of her works and film pieces are represented in museums and notable public institutions such as the British Council, Victoria and Albert Museum, BFI, Wellcome Collection, Science Museum and Tate.

three neon light installations a lamp, the word /bazaar' and a dragon
Chila Kumari Burman in MADE, Tottenham Court Road. Photo by Nick Harrison.

@chilaburman | website 

Access information  

The Nunnery Gallery has step-free access throughout from street level, including to the accessible toilet, and is service animal friendly. This venue does not have a hearing loop system. Accessible parking is not available on-site but blue badge parking can be found 500m away on Fairfield Road. 

If you have any questions regarding accessibility at this event or would like to make us aware of any access requirements that you have in advance of attending, please email nunnery@bowarts.com 

Access requirements could include things like providing equipment, services or support (e.g. information in Easy Read, speech to text software, additional 1:1 support), adjusting workshop timings (e.g. more break times), adjustments to the event space (e.g. making sure you have a table near the entrance) or anything else you can think of! 

Transport Information  

Address: Nunnery Gallery, 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ  
Nearest station(s): Bow Road (District and Hammersmith and City lines) is a 6-minute walk away, and Bow Church (DLR) is a 3-minute walk away.  
Bus: 205, 25, 425, A8, D8, 108, 276, 488 and 8 all service the surrounding area.  
Bike: Bicycle parking is located at Bow Church Station. The nearest Santander Cycles docking station is at Bow Church Station.