Connect: People, Place, Imagination

Smith, Nima-Poovaya is Director of Alchemy, a cultural enterprise company whose central concern is the development of ideas into creative product with a particular interest in the exploration of the confluences of different cultures and disciplines. She is Director of Connect: People, Place and Imagination - Cartwright Hall Art Gallery Collections. Nima is also Project Director of Pillars of Light, a year-long, region-wide programme of events exploring different aspects of Muslim cultures and heritage.

Nima was Head of Special Projects at the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradford until April 2004. Previously, as Director of Arts at Yorkshire Arts (now Arts Council, Yorkshire) she project directed the extremely successful Year of the Artist campaign for Yorkshire and the Humber region in 2000 - 01. As Senior Keeper, International Arts at Bradford Art Galleries and Museums from 1986 -1997 she curated a number of nationally acclaimed historical and contemporary exhibitions relating to themes as varied as Women Artists of Pakistan and 101 Saris from India. She also set up the Transcultural Gallery, which houses the permanent international collections of Cartwright Hall. She has written and lectured extensively on the arts.


Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford has a small but growing collection of historical and contemporary Fine and Decorative Art relating to the Indian subcontinent. The collection includes textiles, exquisite collection of wedding jewelry, glass and metalware as well as works by modern artists. It also has an important collection of Victorian and Edwardian art as well as an extensive collection of contemporary European prints.

The creative challenge is how to approach a body of art that reflects not only a shared 500 year history between the Indian subcontinent and Britain but also a significant sub-continental presence in Britain today.

Connect: People, Place & Imagination is a pioneering multi-million pound project involving the revisioning and reinterpreting of the permanent collections of Cartwright Hall which is a cross-cultural, cross-media and across chronologies. Using the intellectual framework of three themes; People, Place and Imagination, the displays will be able to, for the first time, establish a dialogue across cultures that forces us to look at the objects afresh and to think again.

Nima's talked on how a transcultural collection is being made into an integral part of British history and contemporary reality.

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