2017 marks the 70th anniversary of India’s independence; an inspiring moment to reflect on the profound relationship between Britain, India and the subcontinent’s rich history and culture. For many, it is only the events of the British Raj and Indian independence that define the relationship of the two countries. Both Britain and India were in very different places 400 years ago and the interactions between both countries throughout those four centuries have come to shape our world today in more ways than one would expect.
The web series explores the tightly woven and at times tumultuous relationship between Great Britain and India. Through a series of ten short films, Inspirate and Image Nova will present a broader portrait of the two countries by focusing on the origins of the relationship, the people who changed the face of the subcontinent, and the legacy of decisions made over the four hundred years that bring us to the present day.
As part of the overall 400 Years-Britain & India project, Inspirate were invited by New Walk Museum and Art Gallery Leicester to contribute to an installation as part of the Royal Collection Trust’s exquisite exhibition titled ‘Splendours of the Subcontinent’. The exhibition highlighted the strong connection between India and Britain as it followed the 1875/1876 tour of India by Albert Edward Prince of Wales. To learn more about the Royal Collection’s exhibition, please click here.
Taking inspiration from the illuminated maps of the British Empire and the hand crafted artefacts in the exhibition, Inspirate commissioned artist, Lorna Dunn to create a hand painted installation artwork that contextualises the history of the two countries over the four hundred years. The installation consisted of three wooden panels, which summarised key milestones in the history of the two countries that led to independence. At its centre sat a television monitor which, over the course of the exhibition showed the videos from ‘400 Years: Britain & India’ series.
The project is the culmination of over four years of work during which time Inspirate and Image Nova have worked with Leicester Arts &Museums Service, Royal Collection Trust and the British Library to unearth a rich tapestry of relationships that are usually overlooked when considering the history of the period. As a whole, the art installation has been designed as a legacy artwork that becomes an interface between the broader exhibition and the public in our multicultural, modern day Britain.
Funders & Partners
The success of the project is thanks to the unrelenting support of our funders and partners. 400 Years: Britain and India has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Young Roots programme and Arts Council England through their Grants for the Arts programme. Inspirate would like to thank everyone who plays the National Lottery for contributing and making the project a reality.
All documentaries in the web series have been produced by ImageNova.
The exhibition is funded by Leicester New Walk Museum. Inspirate would like to thank Leicester City Council for their valued support. Throughout the project we have worked closely with the Royal Collection and Leicester New Walk Museum who have enabled us to connect with their collections and exhibition spaces to tell the 400 year story of Britain and India.