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Step into India at New Walk Museum

India’s Gateway exhibition held at Leicester’s New Walk Museum explores the history of Gujarat and Mumbai through ages of trade and migration and their connections with Britain.

The exhibition takes you on a visual and insightful journey with photography by Tim Smith and films by Indian film makers Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham.

As well as visuals, the exhibition features objects and artwork that explores Gujarat’s culture from a Leicester viewpoint.

Premji Hari Manvar, who works from his home in the weaving community of Hamapur near Junagadh in Gujarat. The domestic manufacture of textiles from locally grown cotton is an age-old industry that supports most households in his village. They work with Udyog Bharti, a regional NGO which supports over 2,000 spinners and weavers making Khadi - a cloth made by hand from cotton, silk and/or wool - by supplying them with raw materials as well as marketing and distributing their finished products. From the exhibition India's Gateway: Gujarat, Mumbai & Britain. Photo by Tim Smith.
©Tim Smith

UK based photographer Tim Smith is a member of Panos Pictures, an agency that specialises in global social issues. It is an agency for photojournalists who “bring an unparalleled understanding and awareness of the sensitivities and ethical dimensions of the issues and areas they document.”

The photographs created by Smith for the India’s Gateway exhibition are beautifully blown up around the gallery to truly engage visitors, allowing you to explore the details of the prints and bring to life the culture and communities within Gujarat.

Photographs so clear that you could almost step into them. Smith shares with us, a raw insight into people working in their local trade and craftsmanship, a beautiful array of bright colour, represented through traditional dress and architecture.

The exhibition is as informative as it is visual, a way for those to explore the history of a culture so apparent in Leicester, a city with strong, multi-cultural diversity.

The exhibition is also engaging for those wishing looking back at a heritage more close to home and also clear for educational purpose.
What enhances this visual experience are the sounds and traditional music coming from films being continuously played. Objects in food, leisure and entertainment from Community volunteers around Leicester are displayed throughout the exhibition.

For those interested in Indian cooking you can see traditional cookware and mouth-watering Gujarati recipes displayed in cookbooks- available for you to jot down and try at home, from fragrant curries, popular savoury snack Dhokla and delightful sweet treats.

©Tim Smith
©Tim Smith

A well curated exhibition for both adults and children alike.

Explore India’s gateway further with exciting festival of events on until 21 February 2016:

Bollywood film festival- a chance to see some of the best Bollywood films on the big screen:
Bazaar (1982)– Sunday 14 February 2pm- 5pm
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)- Sunday 21 February 2pm-5pm

A range of lunch time talks:
In Discussion with photographer Tim Smith– Sunday 7 February 2pm-3pm
Indian textiles abroad- Africa, Europe, Asia- Wednesday 17 February 12.30pm-1.30pm

If you fancy something a little more hands on, why not try out the range of family and adult workshops:
Block printing family workshop- Monday 15 & Tuesday 16 February 11am-4pm
Indian puppet making workshop- Thursday 18 February 10am-12noon or 1pm-3pm

All events are free but require booking, to book a place call the museum on 0116 255 4900.
Find out more information on

By Jessica Challoner-Sterland

©Tim Smith
©Tim Smith
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