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Shubha Taparia - Crescent

21st September, 2021 - 20th February, 2022

Unit 7
Atlas Business Centre
Oxgate Lane
London NW2 7HJ

Viewing by appointment


‘Shubha Taparia’s work is a state of mind. One that reflects the ever changing nature of all things, and it does so with the awareness that there is always a permanence in the intrinsic transience of matter. With the exuberance of a gifted child, the artist gathers inorganic and apparently forgotten objects from industrial landscapes and presents us with their utterly poetic significance and beauty.’

Nicoletta Lambertucci. Curator, The Box, Plymouth


Artist Shubha Taparia’s eureka moment came a few years ago when, in central London, she looked at the scaffolding surrounding a construction site, only to see the see the gubbins behind it highlighted in silhouette against its protective geotextile membrane. It led her to become fascinated with the nature of the city’s constantly changing urban landscape’.

RIBA Journal


Shubha Taparia‘s latest project ‘Crescent’ is a dramatic extension of her on-going exploration of the themes of change, transition and impermanence, specifically using the urban environment as metaphor for the human body and spirit.

A chance encounter with John Nash’s terrace development in London, until recently shrouded behind scaffold wraps, prompted Taparia into reimagining and recontextualising the notion of urban transformation, an idea she has developed into a monumental site-specific work mirroring a building site veiled behind an enigmatic, diaphanous canvas curving through the length of her studio. The theatricality of the work draws attention to the innate theatricality of urban environments

Whilst visitors can catch a glimpse around the back of a restricted ‘no entry’ zone, the work is otherwise viewed as a front façade of silhouetted shapes and patterns projected on to the canvas, measuring 18m in length; 6m from floor to ceiling; and 2.83m in depth. 

By using industrial scaffolding to support the screening mechanism, the awe-inspiring metallic structure becomes in itself inextricably a part of the dialogue and a conduit of mechanical change commenting on the transience of architecture and its role in shaping lived experience. The mesmeric projection of shapes and shadows, as they appear on the flexible canvas, evokes Man Ray’s Rayograph works and the ephemeral impression of primitive forms on the caves at Lascaux as well as the lantern projections and stroboscopic animation that preceded early filmmaking technology.

Also on show is Taparia’s acclaimed photographic series, Spirit in the Inanimate, which explores the details and elements from the artist’s former installation: Silhouette of an Unknown Landscape (2018).  Shot on a medium format camera, these digital C prints capture the interplay of light and shadows that defined this monumental work, transforming otherwise mundane materials of urban industry into unexpected vignettes of abstract beauty that recall the photogram experiments of early 20th century pioneers such as Moholy-Nagy and the incisive exposure of x-rays.  

Over the last twenty years, Taparia’s work has critically addressed the ideas of impermanence and mutability on daily urban life and the visual marks or ‘pentimento’ they leave behind, through various mediums spanning photography, performance, sound, video, mixed media, painting, and installation,  as different ways to measure time. These ideas are dramatically developed, from the application of gold leaf onto dilapidated urban construction sites to the re-animation of life-like statuary in her 2018 live event, Performance (2018), which is re-captured in this exhibition as a projected film work.  

The Crescent exhibition is accompanied with a publication featuring essays written by Nicoletta Lambertucci, Curator, The Box Plymouth, and Maitreyi Maheshwari, Head of Programme at FACT, Liverpool. 


To book a viewing:
Miguel Pacheco, / +44 (0)207 494 3144

Press enquiries:
Roz Arratoon,  / +44 (0)7941 027 921


Shubha Taparia

Born in India, Shubha Taparia is a multidisciplinary artist and curator, based in London from 2001. She is a postgraduate from Central Saint Martins, London, 2007. Taparia’s most recent exhibitions include: Britannia–Pallas: The Twilight of the Idols, Contemporary Art Museum of Chania, Chania (2021); Crescent (solo), Unit 7, London (2021); Spirit in the Inanimate (solo), Prahlad Bubbar, London (2019); Memories and Might, collateral project of Kochi–Muziris Biennale at Kashi Gallery, Kochi (2018); Silhouette of an Unknown Landscape (solo, site-specific installation), Unit 7, London (2018); “Performance” (solo), Slate Projects, London (2018); Prossalendi’s Britannia, Ionian Academy, Corfu (2018); Point of Apoapsis (curated by Shubha Taparia), Prahlad Bubbar, London (2017); Landscape and Silence, collateral project of Kochi–Murziris Biennale at Kashi Gallery, Kochi (2016); Averard Hotel, Slate Projects, London (2016); See In Your Mind’s Eye (solo), Kashi Gallery, Kochi (2015). She was a finalist of The Creekside Open 2013, selected by Paul Noble and hosted by APT Galleries, London (2013), as well as a finalist of the Arte Laguna Prize, Arsenale, Venice (2013), and the Mostyn Open at Mostyn Galleries, Llandudno (2011). Her works are held in various private and institutional collections in the UK, Italy, Portugal, India, Canada and Greece.

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