Aqui Thami (V&A Research Institute Offsite Resident) is a Mumbai-based artist, activist and academic.
Her multidisciplinary practice is inspired by the culture of DIY, which has brought her to collaborate with young girls, women and children. She is a founding member of Dharavi Art Room and is also a member of Bombay Underground, an artist collective that organised the first Zine Fest held in Mumbai, bringing together a large volume of self-published books and zines for the public for the first time ever in India.
As part of Aqui’s three-month residency she has been researching the V&A’s rich collection of political posters with a view to engaging local communities in East London in their own artistic practices using the Risograph printer at the Rabbits Road Press. She has begun this outreach process by running a zine-making workshop in a local school in Dagenham and launching a collaborative art project, ‘DIY Rabbits Road’, among young women aged 16 plus in Manor Park, Newham and beyond to explore local identities and make art that celebrates the power of community.
Thami’s residency is in collaboration with the V&A Research Institute (VARI) and takes place between 15 October 2018 and 18 January 2019. Thami will be working at the Rabbits Road Institute in Old Manor Park Library, working closely with the artist collective One of My Kind (OOMK), which run a community risograph print studio and publishing press at this site. Aqui will be staying with us at The White House. This is the second collaboration with the V&A, following the successful residency with Wouter Osterholt in 2017-18.
“During my residency, I am interested in exploring the V&A’s rich political posters collection with a special focus on handmade posters for public walls and city spaces, works that existed on the edge of the normative definition of art.”
Come and Meet Aqui
For the chance to meet Aqui and discuss her practice and process, visit her at one of the following Open Studio days.
At V&A Museum, Residency Studio, Sackler Centre for arts education, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL on:
Fri 23 Nov 2018 – 11am-1pm
Sat 24 Nov 2018 – 1pm-4pm
Fri 7 Dec 2018 – 6pm-8pm
Sat 8 Dec 2018 – 1pm-4pm
Sat 12 Jan 2019 – 1pm-4pm
At Rabbits Road Press, Rabbits Road Institute, Old Manor Park Library, Romford Road, E12 5JY on:
Fri 4 Jan 2019, time tbc
Sat 5 Jan 2019, time tbc
At The White House, 884 Green Lane, Dagenham, RM8 1BX on:
Tues 15 Jan 2019, 6pm-8pm
You can also hear Aqui in conversation with Zorian Clayton, V&A Curator of Posters, at the V&A Friday Late on 30 November. Called ‘Rising’, this month’s Friday Late explores and celebrates young people, spanning everything from rave culture to activism. Drawing from the V&A’s national collection of posters, Aqui and Zorian will explore the bold graphics and political history made by activist groups and collaborative print workshops in their visual clarion calls to action.