The emotional strength of Matthew Krishanu’s work derives from the imagery drawn from the artist’s imagination and memories, especially the landscapes of Bangladesh where he spent his childhood.
Krishanu’s British father and Indian mother completed theological training in Birmingham, then relocated their family to Dhaka in the early 1980s, working for the Church of Bangladesh.
Many of the paintings capture the childhood gaze of these early experiences and the distinctive bond between the artist and his older brother. The scenes convey a complex, atmospheric mix of expatriates, missionaries and expansive landscapes.
Despite the luminous colour palette of the paintings they are never nostalgic, indeed the scenes have the direct appeal of familiar motifs from the visible world – boats, trees, church life – yet they favour an incongruity, with scenes that are nuanced and invite multiple interpretations.
The journey of two young boys is at the heart of this alluring and emotional narrative. Features a foreword by Deborah Kermode and commissioned essays by Jenni Lomax and Ruxmini Choudhury.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition, The Sun Never Sets: Matthew Krishanu at Midlands Arts Centre (mac), Birmingham (12 January – 10 March 2019).