Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Invisible Murmurs: Mapping Invisibility and Belonging in Contemporary British Art

16 February 2024, 11:00 am–4:30 pm

Lumen: The Ghosts She Summons, 2021, Sutapa Biswas, 2021, C-type print on Fuji Maxima paper, 85.8 x 129 cm © Sutapa Biswas. All Rights Reserved DACS 2024

A roundtable with Sutapa Biswas, Sophia Hinton-Lever, Svetlana Sequeira Costa, Dr Nuria Querol and Linsey Young.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students




Bindu Mehra


IAS Common Ground
G11, ground floor, South Wing
UCL, Gower St, London
United Kingdom

There will be a round-table discussion and Q&A session after the presentations.

This event is hosted by Chai Shai. Chai Shai: Asian British Art Research Group (with a focus on South Asian British and East Asian Contemporary Women Artists Practice) aims to address underrepresentation of Asian British women artists in exhibitions and challenge their under-representation and invisibility in the British Art world. Our focus is to shed light on the systematic barriers, including racism and misogyny, that prevent these artists from gaining equal exposure and recognitions within visual arts. By bringing together artists, writers, curators, academics, and researchers, we aim to generate new channels of thinking and networking that will contribute towards the development of British Art curating e.g. generating material and networks leading to a new exhibition of contemporary artists work.

This is the fourth research group event in a series of reading groups, film screenings, performance, workshops and symposia we aim to create thinking spaces that will unpack notions of invisibility and disenchantment, and identity strategies for redressing this imbalance.


Sutapa Biswas
Sutapa Biswas is an internationally renowned artist who works across a range of disciplines including painting, drawing, film, video, and photography. Born in India and educated in the UK, drawing from her training in art history as well as from literary sources, her works possess a stark but poetic resonance. Shaped by her interest in the human condition, and how larger historical narratives from across the globe collide with the often-undocumented personal stories, her practice questions the complexities of racial and gendered relations born out of tangled colonial histories. Like thread unravelling and ravelling in fabric, Biswas’s work weaves conceptually across time and space. 

Sophia Hinton-Lever
Sophia Hinton-Lever is a doctoral researcher, curator, writer and producer. Her doctoral research investigates the complex relationship between female artists and the contemporary art industry. It utilises organisation theory, post structural feminist philosophies, and cultural studies theories to approach questions of creative labour, embodiment and fetishisation. It explores questions of whether the management processes of the contemporary art industry, specifically galleries, objectify the corporeality of female artists and their work. Her research is heavily influenced by her creative academic background, she holds a BA English Literature from Goldsmiths and MA Global Creative and Cultural Industries from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies). She is a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Liverpool.

Linsey Young
Linsey Young is currently Curator of Contemporary British Art at Tate Britain where she works across the contemporary programme. Recent projects include Women in Revolt! Art and Activism 1970 – 1990, Turner Prize 2018 and Anthea Hamilton: The Squash, 2018. In 2019 Young Curated Charlotte Prodger’s Scotland and Venice presentation with Cove Park.

Svetlana Sequeira Costa
Svetlana Sequeira Costa is the founding director of Arts Cabinet, a research-led arts organisation based in London and working globally.  Svetlana is a curator, researcher, and organiser with experience of working internationally in the arts and culture, with private foundations, public institutions, artists and high net worth individuals. Svetlana’s current work focuses on setting up collaborations between artists and researchers, to produce innovative work that broadens people’s imagination and understanding of complex issues. Involving Higher Education institutions in the UK, Australia, Europe, and the US, with established Western artists and artists from Global South often from difficult territories such as Iran, North Africa and Latin America, the outcomes of these projects are disseminated through publications, events and learning labs.  Svetlana is also a Research Fellow at the War Studies Department at King’s College London, Research Associate at the University of Agder (Norway) Fine Art Department, and undertaking a PhD at the Slade/UCL.

Dr Nuria Querol
Dr Nuria Querol is Director of Critical Studies in the Art Department at Goldsmiths. Their research consists of several interconnected strands linked to contemporary art, curatorial studies, and theories of transculturality, decoloniality and globalisation, with a focus on Asia (China and India primarily).Nuria has published in numerous journals and in specialised publications such as the Journal of Curatorial Studies, Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Dialogues on Curating and UNESCO’s World Report on Cultural Diversity (2008). They serve on the editorial board for the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, where they recently edited a special issue on Transcultural Curation and the Post-COVID World (2022).Their forthcoming monograph Transcultural Curating. Contemporary Indian Art in a Global Context (Liverpool University Press, 2024) addresses how transcultural exhibitions position Indian contemporary art globally.


The event is chaired by Bindu Mehra, Artist and PhD researcher, Professor Kristen Kreider, Head of Doctoral programme, UCL and Dr Marquard Smith, Associate Professor IOE - Culture, Communication & Media, UCL.

Bindu Mehra
Bindu Mehra is an intermedia artist currently pursuing her practice-led PhD at Slade School of Fine Arts, UK. Bindu is drawn to the theme of cultural displacement and identity, social histories and cross-cultural studies that are heavily influenced by transnational migrant experiences and by the interaction between people and space. Bindu is currently researching on how video as a medium can be exploited to explore individual and collective memories of traumatic historic events. Her film “The Inaccessible Narrative” has recently been nominated for an award at the Cannes Short Film festival and is currently being exhibited at Sirius Art Centre, Ireland (2024). Bindu was also short listed for Documenta 14 (Independent project) and at Tate Britain, London, UK (2009) and has exhibited internationally including at the Centro de Cultura Contemporanea (Portugal), Goethe Institute Max Mueller Bhawan (India), Scope Art Fair (USA), Alwan for the Arts and Leila Heller Gallery (USA), Maison de la culture de Côte-des-Neiges (Canada), Blackburn Museum (UK), Whitworth Art Gallery (UK), Novas Contemporary Art Centre (UK), Chiang Mai Museum (Thailand), OZ Asia Festival (Australia), British Council and Devi Art Foundation (India). Bindu has also been invited by the French Consulate as an artist in Residence to Paris and has received numerous Ontario Arts Council grants in Canada. Recently she was recipient of the Research Excellence Scholarship from UCL. Bindu currently lives and works between Canada, UK and India.

Jasmir Creed
Jasmir Creed is a practice led PhD researcher at the Slade School of Fine Art. She explores alienation and the transcultural in paintings of people in urban non-places or iconic historical sites, informed by her identity as a British South Asian artist. Solo exhibitions of paintings by Jasmir Creed include Urban Forest at Delta House Studios, London 2017; Dystopolis at Victoria Gallery and Museum, Liverpool 2018 and Utopolis at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery 2023. Group exhibitions include Asia Triennial Manchester 2018, Home and Unhome at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China, 2020 and Art Contact, Istanbul Art Fair, Turkey 2021.   

Kristen Kreider
Professor Kristen Kreider is a writer and artist. Her research stems from an interest in the poetics of thought, its materialization as form, and a concern with how artworks relate to the world. In collaboration with the architect James O’Leary, Kreider’s artistic practice engages with sites of architectural and cultural interest and they are currently working on a large-scale project, Ungovernable Spaces, engaging with five sites of community and resistance globally. Acting primarily as a facilitator for this project, Kristen brings to this her experience working with postgraduate art research at UCL, Oxford and Goldsmiths. Kristen is currently Professor of Fine Art and Head of the Doctoral Programme and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. 

Marquard Smith
Dr Marquard Smith is an academic, curator, editor, and commissioner, with twenty five years experience working mostly in an art school context, and collaborating with cultural organisations such as Arts Catalyst, Freud Museum, ICA, Live Art Development Agency, MK Gallery, Tate, Wellcome Collection, and Whitechapel on exhibitions, publications, and public programming. As an academic manager, his roles have included Head of the School of Art and Design History, Kingston University, Research Leader and Head of Doctoral Studies in the School of Humanities at Royal College of Art, and Founding Director of the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture at University of Westminster. Marq is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Visual Culture, Founder of the International Association for Visual Culture, and Deputy Director (Collaborations & Partnerships) of the AHRC's London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP).


This conference is supported by British Art Network. BAN is a Subject Specialist Network supported by Tate and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, with additional public funding provided by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The Network promotes curatorial research, practice and theory in the field of British Art. Its members include curators, academics, artist-researchers, conservators, producers and programmers at all stages of their professional lives. 

Image credit: Lumen: The Ghosts She Summons, 2021, Sutapa Biswas, 2021, C-type print on Fuji Maxima paper, 85.8 x 129 cm
© Sutapa Biswas. All Rights Reserved DACS 2024