Meera Sethi: Outerwhere | Cotton Exchange

Cambridge Art Galleries, Queen’s Square & Preston

Meera Sethi, Dilli from Outerwhere Series (detail), 2022, mixed media. Photograph by Karly Boileau.

Meera Sethi

September 30 – December 17, 2023
Cambridge Art Galleries, Queen’s Square

Cotton Exchange
September 30 – November 26, 2023
Cambridge Art Galleries, Preston

Cambridge Art Galleries is pleased to present three distinct bodies of work by artist Meera Sethi in two solo exhibitions at our Queen’s Square and Preston locations. While each exhibition functions independently, they are connected through Sethi’s use of found imagery and objects within her work to investigate the multi-layered and complex relationships between racialized and gendered bodies, clothing, and textile.

On view at Queen’s Square gallery is Outerwhere, in which Sethi alters and adorns the inner linings of 12 winter coats. The winter coat is the first-acquired and single-most important item of clothing for newcomer landing in a cold climate. Presented within a circle, Outerwhere shares stories related to diasporic South Asian experiences and themes of migration, identity, historical trauma, resilience, and memory.

On view at Preston gallery is Cotton Exchange. These works use the concept of image reproduction or ‘copying’ to focus on and disrupt assumptions related to the labouring bodies involved in cloth and garment manufacturing. In Cotton Exchange, she translates into painting a 1936 Art Deco bas relief sculpture found on the exterior of the historic Cotton Exchange Building in Mumbai. In Articles of Clothing, Sethi reverses the process of fast fashion and the news cycle by engaging in a slow, durational process of drawing the clothing of protesting garment workers. By looking at colonial period and present-day garment industries, together this exhibition illustrates the exploitation at the heart of what we wear.

Meera Sethi, Tragic Number from Articles of Clothing Series (detail), 2020, pencil and ink on paper. Image courtesy of the artist.

Opening Reception + Meet The Artist
Saturday, September 30, 2023
1:00pm to 4:00pm

Visit Cambridge Art Galleries, Preston to experience Cotton Exchange and pick up your own Take and Make collage kit. You are also welcome to visit Cambridge Art Galleries, Queen’s Square, and take a casual tour of Outerwhere led by the artist at 2:30 pm. Light snacks and refreshments will be served at Queen’s Square.

About the Artist

Meera Sethi is a contemporary artist with an intuitive and research-based practice that moves across painting, drawing, fibre, illustration, performance and social practice. Her work sits at the intersection of the subjugated body and histories of cloth with a particular focus on South Asia and it’s diasporas. She is interested in the making, wearing, and disposing of cloth; clothing as a form of self-expression and resistance; and the ways by which textile is constituted over vast geographies. Through her work, she delves deep into our understanding of the self, the body, cloth and clothing, including it’s histories, resonances, and possibilities.

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be found in the permanent collection of the Royal Ontario Museum and the Wedge Collection. She lives and works in the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, and Mississaugas of the Credit River.

Cambridge Art Galleries, Idea Exchange
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Queen’s Square
1 North Square
Cambridge, ON N1S 2K6

Hours of Operation
Monday to Thursday 9:30 am to 8:30 pm
Friday to Saturday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

435 King Street East
Cambridge, ON N3H 3N1

Hours of Operation
Monday to Thursday 10:00 am to 8:30 pm
Friday 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Cambridge Art Galleries presents contemporary art from two galleries in the City of Cambridge: Queen’s Square and Preston. We serve our regional and broader communities through the delivery of contemporary art programs that foster critical cultural dialogue. Our artistic activities engage, embrace, and empower people of all ages and abilities from diverse backgrounds.

Cambridge Art Galleries is situated on the traditional land of Indigenous peoples dating back countless generations. We recognize that it is part of the Haldimand Tract, the traditional land of the Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Cambridge Art Galleries acknowledge the generous support of the City of Cambridge, Canada Council for the Arts, and Ontario Arts Council.

Media Contact:
Karly Boileau, Assistant Curator
519.621.0460 ext. 160