Sarindar Dhaliwal, the cartographer's mistake: the Radcliffe Line, Chromira Print, 2012

the cartographer’s mistake: Southall and other places

Sarindar Dhaliwal

A Space Main Gallery

January 18 – February 23, 2013

Essay by: Michelle Jacques

Copresented by: LIFT

The title of Sarindar Dhaliwal’s solo exhibition identifies one very specific location – Southall, the suburban district of London, England, to which her family immigrated in the 1950s – and an indeterminate number of unnamed ones – the “other places.” These undisclosed sites likely include India, or more precisely, the Punjab, where the artist was born, and Canada, where, as a teenager, she moved with her family. Dhaliwal’s work, produced over the course of a career that has spanned more than three decades, also typically spans, to some extent or other, the three countries that she has called home. While Dhaliwal has employed many mediums in her œuvre, amongst them painting, photography, installation, printmaking and video, her work is unified in its consideration of identity, migration and Diaspora, and by its use of narrative strategies and autobiographical content. Ultimately these stories take her – and us – far away from that time and place in Southall, to the many other places, real and imagined, that ultimately determine who we are. 


Sarindar Dhaliwal is a visual artist based in Toronto. She was born in the Punjab, raised in London and has lived in Canada since 1968. Dhaliwal received her BFA with a concentration in sculpture at University College (Falmouth, Cornwall, England, UK), and her MFA from York University (Toronto, Canada). Her practice is rooted in both painting/drawing and large mixed media installations that make use of systematic and arbitrary collecting processes, and those accumulations define the genesis, materiality and content of the pieces. Sarindar Dhaliwal completed her first experimental film project in 2010. olive, almond & mustard�, is an examination of childhood dissonance located in an immigrant experience and in a distant past. The digital and moving image have become natural additions to the strategies she employs and underline how narrative and sequence have played an increasingly larger role in her work. Dhaliwal has exhibited widely in Canada since the 1980s. Her most recent solo shows were at Galerie Deste in Montreal (2010) and the Robert Langen Art Gallery in Waterloo (2012). In 2011 she participated in exhibitions in Stony Plain, Alberta, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Reach, Abbotsford both in British Columbia and at the Vadehra Art Gallery in Delhi, India. Sarindar Dhaliwal was the 2012 recipient of the Canada Council International Residency at Artspace, Sydney, Australia.

Michelle Jacques is a curator and writer. She is currently the chief curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and has previously held positions in the contemporary and Canadian departments at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. From 2002-2004, she was the director of programming at the Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax. She is a past board member of Mercer Union and is currently on the boards of Vtape and the Feminist Art Gallery, both in Toronto. She is a contributing editor of FUSE magazine and has written extensively for catalogues, journals and other publications.