Artist Talk: Mani Kambo (June Castlefield Gallery Associates session)

29 June 2021 / 18:30-20:30

For the third in our series of artist talks on the theme of Communicating Across Boundaries, we welcome Newcastle-based Mani Kambo, whose work explores dream states and the use of ritual to access different states of consciousness.

Kambo’s work RIFT explores the lore surrounding fortune telling, dream states and the human psyche, exploring the inner spirit by drawing on her own personal totemic symbols and using various printing methods to create abstract, dream-like visuals. Through collage and layered imagery, the work acts like fragments of memory left behind for the viewer to piece together. Influenced by her upbringing in a household filled with superstition, prayer and religious ceremony, Kambo focuses on objects, routines and rituals distilled both from the everyday and mythology.

Towards A Summoning is an experimental series of actions and triggers drawing on Greek mythology, Kambo’s own personal symbols and the everyday to create a visually arresting short film  which explores the liminal space between being awake and asleep, life and death. Crest draws on the ancient practice of using pictorial language to share information, merging symbols to weave a tale, a portal to another place.

Mani Kambo is a multidisciplinary artist based in Newcastle Upon Tyne where she grew up surrounded by Sikh tradition and ritual. Kambo is drawn to everyday rituals and precautionary actions taken from superstitions.

Printmaking is rooted in Kambo’s family history of being tailors and fabric print makers. Kambo also creates Cyanotype prints, which in their making hold an alchemic quality; images are created by exposure to light then revealed through washing the image in water. The process holds within it an element of transformation and uncertainty, each cyanotype differs, affected by elements of light and time.

Her work records movement and documents performative actions – the hand that creates the action, fire that reveals, water which is the purifier and eyes that perceive : through the exploration of totemic objects and symbols. Through layering and editing images together she collages narratives and weaves dreamscapes. These visuals are repeated throughout her work like markers linking to notions of spirituality and belief in reincarnation.

The same creative ritualistic processes, recurring symbols and imagery are used in both her print and film works, each one feeding into the other, like a chain reaction.

This event is part of our regular programme of Castlefield Gallery Associates sessions and is free for Associate members to attend and £6 for non-members. Castlefield Gallery Associates is our membership scheme for artists, curators and writers working in contemporary art; more info at

Our 2021 Castlefield Gallery Associates programme of artist talks focuses on communicating across boundaries – whether that’s with non-human nature, with AI, with extra-terrestrials or with other humans. How do we come to a shared understanding across differences of mode of communication, culture, experience, life-form and to what extent is it even possible?

This talk will take place on Zoom. Pre-booking is essential at Eventbrite.

Image: Mani Kambo – Crest