Conversation Pieces: Dayanita Singh and Rebecca M. Brown 

20 June 2023, 4pm BST (8am PDT; 8:30pm IST)
Online, on MS Teams

The Centre for Design History at the University of Brighton held a live conversation with world-renowned book artist and photographer Dayanita Singh, hosted by Professor Rebecca M. Brown, Johns Hopkins University and current Global Fellow at the University of Brighton this June. After a brief introduction of the artist’s work, from her early book projects to portable museums and room-sized, adaptable photographic installations, Singh and Brown traced the various threads in her many interconnected works, seeking out new iterations of the old, citations from Singh’s own archive, and intimate moments of dialogue among the contact sheets.



Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh (b. 1961, New Delhi) uses photography to reflect and expand on the ways in which we relate to images. Her recent works, drawn from her extensive photographic oeuvre, are a series of mobile museums that allow her images to be edited, sequenced, archived and displayed. Stemming from Singh’s interest in the archive, the museums present her photographs as interconnected bodies of work that are replete with both poetic and narrative possibilities. Publishing is also a significant part of the artist’s practice: in her books, often published without text, Singh extends her experiments on alternate forms of producing and viewing photographs. She says, ‘the book is at the heart of my work. To me, the exhibition is the catalogue of the works in the book’. (bio: Frith Street Gallery) 

Professor Rebecca M. Brown 

Rebecca M. Brown is Professor and Chair of the Department of the History of Art and Chair of the Advanced Academic Programs in Museum Studies and Cultural Heritage Management at Johns Hopkins University. Brown’s research engages in the history of art, architecture, and visual culture of South Asia from the late eighteenth century to the present. 

She has published numerous articles and three books on the early British presence on the subcontinent, the anti-colonial movement of the early twentieth century, art in the decades after India’s independence in 1947, and the economic and political machinations of the long 1980s. Her current research focuses on the painter KCS Paniker (1911–77) and his use of illegible writing on his paintings from the 1960s and 1970s. She is also working on the photographic practice of Dayanita Singh and Annu Matthew, as well as the work of Rina Banerjee.  

She has served as a consultant and a curator of modern and contemporary Indian art for the Peabody Essex Museum, the Walters Art Museum, and the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, and has taught across North America and in the UK. 

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Claire Wintle, Co-Director of the Centre for Design History, University of Brighton,