The Singh Twins: Slaves of Fashion

Exhibitions: FREE

The Singh Twins: Slaves of Fashion


Saturday 07 May - Sunday 11 September 2022


Explore narratives around Empire, enslavement, conflict and luxury consumerism connected to the story of India’s historical trade in textiles, and the relevance of these issues in our world today, in this colourful and thought-provoking exhibition, from internationally acclaimed artists, The Singh Twins.

Slaves of Fashion, The Singh Twin’s most recent body of work, includes life-size symbolic portraits of historical figures which are presented as vast digital fabric light box artworks to reveal the full intricacy of their design and the eclectic, detailed, symbolic and narrative style for which The Singh Twins are renowned.

Collectively these demonstrate not only the beauty, and craftsmanship of Indian fabrics as a highly desirable commodity in an age of expanding western exploitation colonialism but also invite us to consider the human and environmental cost of luxury goods.

Light box artworks and satirical paintings on paper also focus on the British Empire’s relationship with India and the wider legacies of colonialism, as a well as present-day debates about identity, racism, globalisation, fair labour; the politics of trade and climate change that relate in some way to Imperial racial attitudes and colonial commercial practices of the past.

The exhibition also features a range of material (including hand painted preparatory artworks, drawings, time-lapse videos, artist films and historical objects) offering unique insights into the creative processes and inspiration behind the Slaves of Fashion series.

“If you care about the environment and you care about human rights, then you should really care about what you put in your shopping basket too, and that’s partly what the message of Slaves of Fashion is about. But it’s equally about redressing neglected and hidden histories, showing how we are all connected through a shared colonial heritage and how our understanding of global narratives around Empire can help us to view ourselves and the world around us in a new light.” – The Singh Twins, 2022.


Find out more about the exhibition in this IGlobal review by Professor Atul Shah

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Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

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