Art Exhibition:Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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Art Exhibition, Sat 9 Jan 2021 - Fri 1 Apr 2022

Hardeep Sahota

Hardeep Sahota

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Hannah Pearson


West Bretton,
West Yorkshire,

Events at this Venue

date event
Sat 22 Jun - Fri 1 Apr Damien Hirst
Sat 21 Sep - Fri 1 Apr Alfredo Jaar
Wed 29 Jul - Sun 9 Jan Joana Vasconcelos
Sat 9 Jan - Fri 1 Apr Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon


While we are unable to open our galleries during lockdown restrictions, this exhibition is online only.

Bhangra is an energetic form of dance and music that originated in the Panjab, by farming communities during the spring harvest festival of Vaisakhi. Its driving force is the Dhol, a large double-sided, barrel shaped drum. Sahota has explored, documented and catalogued 300 dance movements and gestures from Bhangra and its sub-genres to create a unique record that gathers together a rich body of knowledge, ensuring its preservation for future generations.

This new exhibition grew out of Sahota’s initial research and gives vibrant visual form to dance movements through the fascinating medium of light painting. Dancers from a number of different disciplines – including Irish dancing and breakdancing as well as Bhangra – perform key moves whilst holding coloured lights in semi-darkness, so that every nuance of their actions can be traced using long exposure photography. Sahota collaborated with photographer Tim Smith to create compelling and dynamic images that give physical, even sculptural, form to the fleeting nature of the dance. The flowing movements translate into bright, almost calligraphic strokes. The atmospheric images were taken in the evening at YSP and other locations across Yorkshire.

In images using light painting, the person performing the action typically remains anonymous in the shadows, with the sole focus being on the light. However, Sahota was keen that the costumes and cultural identities of the participants played an equally important role, so they are also illuminated using targeted flash. He describes how the creative collaboration between himself, photographer and dancers is empowering for the participants, working together to enmesh different disciplines and increase understanding of each artform.

Sahota’s academic enquiry to date has examined ephemeral elements of Bhangra moves, the movements or ‘Mudravan’, from the traditional ‘Puratan’ moves and how they corelate with specific Dhol beats, to more contemporary ‘Samakali’ interpretations that have evolved over time. The project’s exploration of the relationship between movement and image to present a formal ‘repertoire’ of Bhangra steps also acts as an online resource for learners to inscribe into their practice. While the phenomenon of Bhangra now has a global reach with varied audiences around the world, its history, scope and depth are still not fully appreciated and so cannot be celebrated as they deserve to be. Sahota’s work strives to honour and extol this rich narrative through embedded research, vibrant performance and the meaningful bringing together of performers and communities.

Baby changing facilitiesCoach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsPicnic siteRegional Tourist Board MemberWheelchairs availableAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencingFacilities for corporate hospitality

Event details

Dates Times
Sat 9 Jan 2021 - Fri 1 Apr 2022
View online from 9 January.


See location of Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SE 282130  Lat: 53.61278 Long: -1.57521

By Road:
The best postcode for sat nav is WF4 4JX.

From Wakefield City Centre: Take the A637 from Wakefield. Proceed through West Bretton village. At the next roundabout turn right and follow the road through to the YSP car park.

From Motorway North/South: Exit the M1 at Junc 38. Take the A637 and follow the YSP brown heritage signs for 1 mile. At the next roundabout turn left and follow the road through to the YSP car park.

From Motorway East/West: Leave the M62 at Junc 29 and take the M1 South towards Wakefield. Exit the M1 at Junc 38 and take the A637. Follow the YSP brown heritage signs for 1 mile. At the next roundabout turn left and follow the road through to the YSP car park.

By Public Transport:
Nearest Railway Station: Wakefield Westgate Railway Station (7 miles)
Nearest Bus Station: Wakefield Bus Station (7 miles)
Bus Route: Tate Travel Service No. 96 runs Monday–Saturday between Wakefield and Barnsley, with regular stops at YSP.

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 7 miles from Wakefield Westgate station


  • Baby changing facilitiesBaby changing facilities
  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Regional Tourist Board MemberRegional Tourist Board Member
  • Wheelchairs availableWheelchairs available
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality