Detail view of Lost Text – SUBTLE, 2017


Ishara Art Foundation: Navjot Altaf, “Pattern”

Location: Dubai, UAE

Dates: 14 September 2022 – 09 December 2022

Curator: Sabih Ahmed

Pattern marks the first solo exhibition of Navjot Altaf in the Arabian Peninsula. Featuring site-specific installations, sculptures, videos, drawings and photo prints, the exhibition foregrounds Navjot’s longstanding commitment to issues of climate-change, ecology and feminism and the challenges they face in the digital age.

Navjot’s practice stands at the intersection of art and activism. With a career spanning over five decades, she is among the leading voices of her generation to regard art as a medium of social change. Pattern presents works created since 2015, the year of the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the Paris Climate Accords that marked a watershed moment in announcing a global agreement towards the mitigation of carbon emission levels among nearly 200 countries. Since then, there has been a dramatic rise of visual representation of climate change in mainstream media, using new technologies and real-time data. Navjot’s exhibition at Ishara juxtaposes the new and traditional forms of representing environmental crises to critically reflect on the way we think about the future of the planet and society.

The exhibition is curated by Sabih Ahmed, Associate Director and Curator at the Ishara Art Foundation, and will be accompanied by the launch of Navjot’s new two-volume publication titled ‘Navjot at Work’ and ‘Artist’s Notes’; physical and virtual tours; educational programmes and a newly commissioned text by Zasha Colah.


Navjot Altaf

Navjot Altaf was born in 1949 and currently lives and works between Mumbai and Bastar. Since the 1970’s, her practice has negotiated various disciplinary boundaries involving painting, photography, sculpture, installation, video, site-specific works, research and activism. Collaboration lies at the heart of her artistic methodology, extended through dialogues, workshops and readings of historical and contemporary art, literature, film and cultural theory.

In 1997, Navjot relocated to Bastar, a district in Central India, where she co-founded DIAA (Dialogue Interactive Artists Association), an artists’ run organization along with Rajkumar Korram, Shantibai, and Gessuram Viswakarma. Her work with indigenous communities has attempted to find ways of creating sustainable means of livelihood, advocating justice, and bringing attention to the social and ecological crises in the region through their own voices and narratives.

Navjot has had solo exhibitions in institutions and galleries including the PAV Parco Arte Vivente (Turin), the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum (Florida), Chemould Prescott Road Art Gallery (Mumbai) and The Guild Gallery (Alibaug). Her retrospective was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art (Mumbai) in 2018. She has also participated in various group shows around the world including the Tate Modern (London), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Korea), The Grand Curtis (Liège) and the Kiran Nader Museum of Art (New Delhi). Her work has been presented as part of the Yinchuan Biennale, Shanghai Biennale, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Sydney-International festival of Contemporary Art Biennale, Havana Biennale and the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale. A number of her collaborative and site-specific projects can be found Chhattisgarh, India.

Navjot’s works are part of a number of public and private art collections including National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi and Mumbai), Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (New Delhi), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Fukuoka), Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), PSA Museum of Contemporary Art (Shanghai), PAV- Parco Arte Vivente (Turin), RPG Collection (Mumbai) and The Ishara Art Foundation and The Prabhakar Collection (Dubai).

Ishara Art Foundation