Bharti Kher: Alchemies

Contact Details:

West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LG


Leeds Inspired

Bharti Kher: Alchemies

22nd June 2024 - 27th April 2025

Headlining YSP’s 2024 programme, Bharti Kher: Alchemies presents one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, Bharti Kher, who was born in the UK and now lives and works between London and India.

Bharti Kher centres the female body and experience through sculpture. Addressing timely political issues around identity and gender, she reframes the perspective and position of women from her own experiences. The powerful group of works presented in the exhibition spans 2000-24, including four significant outdoor bronze sculptures, and a large clay work that will be made outside the gallery so that visitors can watch the construction process evolve and then observe its slow process of disintegration.

Curated across the light-filled spaces of YSP’s largest gallery and surrounding garden, the exhibition celebrates Kher’s extraordinary sculptures, representing different approaches and periods of her career. Ideas of metamorphosis weave throughout her work as Kher pushes at defined readings of objects and identities to see what other meanings might be possible – such as the binary of man/woman, or other traditionally fixed and hierarchical representations. Through her work, the artist considers the roles of women in society and culture, and assigns them a place, questioning the different lenses through which identity is viewed.

The exhibition foregrounds central ideas of Kher’s process; “When I make the work in the studio, so many forces are at play: the material and its narrative and needs, my hands and their energies, the space and its dynamic as a holder of potential. The bodies and remnants of voices that leave their traces and essence in the body casts. Positives and negatives fly around me. All of it helps me see better, to sense the temperature, to hear what is physical, but to make the work sing I have let go of all of it. And that’s how the alchemies of the studio come into being”.