Objects are collected, initially having been selected through a process of recognition - the presence of the 'familiar', within the 'unfamiliar'. There are genuine insights coming through individuals, but the forms these take are warped or twisted and as a result, these insights are rejected, discarded or repressed. In Freudian terms, the 'uncanny' is this sort of potentially frightening projection, which leads us back to something old and familiar in our personal and cultural past.
Collecting objects from the coastline provides just this kind of experience. The objects or part objects have a history, they are part of a culture, a culture that has discarded them. Their selection provides a key to exploring one's inner world by mirroring and self evaluation, 'you are what you keep'. Collecting introduces meaning, order, boundaries, coherence and reason into what is essentially disparate, confused and threatening.
'It is because he feels alienated and disconnected from the social discourse whose rules elude him that the collector seeks to reconstitute a discourse which he understands, because he is then in possession of the signifiers and the signifiers and the signified is within his own experience'. (Jean Baudrillard, 1984)
In Madi Acharya-Baskerville's work, such feelings of alienation and marginality intersect with the positivity of the diasporan experience. She creates alternative stories relating to the objects she collects and in doing so is often drawn to India, her country of origin, reflecting on present surroundings with distinct, yet significant childhood experiences in mind.
Qualifications and training
- 1999 Masters Degree, Fine Art, Cardiff Institute, University of Wales, Cardiff, Cardiff, Wales
- 2008 Memories from Home, Citygate, St Clements, Oxford
- 2009 'Frontiere', Art-in-Situ, Atellier Bell, Drome, France
- 2008 Within Walls, Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
- 2007 Umfeld<->Inwelt, Fraunmuseum, Bonn, Germany
- 2006 'Flight', Sroud House Gallery, Stroud
- 2006 Quest:The Artist as Pilgrim, Ovada Gallery, Oxford
- 2009 Exhibition, Jam:Cultural Congestions in Contemporary Art, South Hill Park, Art Centre, Bracknell, Berkshire
- 2009 Gosford Hill School, Commissioned by Kids@rt, educational charity, Oxford
- 2008 Eynsham Primary School, Commissioned by Kids@rt, educational charity, Oxford
- 2007 'Stories, Memories and Concepts', residency with Art-in-Situ, La Tour de Crest (prison tower), Crest, Southern France
- 2007 In-tent-city, commissioned to work with culturally diverse community groups to create a tent using discarded objects, South Parks, Oxford
- 2007 Public Art Mentoring Commission, East Oxford Health Centre, Oxford
Competitions, prizes and awards
- 2007 Grants for Arts Award, Arts Council England, For residency in France and Exhibition in UK, La Tour de Crest, France and Oxfordshire Museum, UK
- 2006 'Re-worked', Washington Gallery, Cardiff