The photograph shows an ancient Buddhist statue on a plinth that seems to float against the museum’s cracked grey wall. Suspended in front of the sculpture a ghostly white screen of vertical lines defies rational explanation. The image, by artist Seher Shah, combines drawing and photogravure; it is part of her new series, Argument from Silence (2019), taken of Gandhara sculptures in the government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh, India. From an ancient region on the border of present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan, Gandhara art has a contested history that reflects the shifting borders of the region.
Whisper-quiet in its subtle monochrome mystery, yet hiding a cacophony of internal stories, Argument from Silence encapsulates the mood of Homelands, a new exhibition at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge of work by artists with links to Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.