Mohini Chandra – Artist Talk & Publication Launch

Thursday 30 September 2021

Join us to hear artist Mohini Chandra discuss her new exhibition Paradise Lost at MIRROR and launch her exhibition catalogue which will be available for sale during the event. Mohini will be joined by archaeologist Mallory Hass from the SHIPS project who has worked closely with Mohini on the development of her new body of work.


Paradise Lost explores the rich history of shipwrecks in the historic naval port city of Plymouth and their relation to empire, slavery and indenture.

Mohini Chandra’s new body of work reflects the complex movement of people and objects within the colonised world, whilst reflecting on her own ancestors’ journeys abroad indenture ships. While shipping was the powerhouse of empire, in the ruins and debris of a shipwreck, any notions of the ‘paradisiacal’ are challenged by the harsh realities of maritime expansion.

Central to the exhibition is a new film work featuring a specially commissioned song Ei Dubonto Shomoy, translated from Bengali as ‘In these drowning times’, written and performed by Kolkata based archivist, Moushumi Bhowmik as a lament for ‘lost souls’. The song refers to the lives lost on ships (both sailors and colonised or enslaved peoples), whilst alluding to contemporary tragedies of globalisation, borders and migration. Imagery of Moushumi singing this potent lament is coupled with shots of the site of a wrecked slave ship still in place in Plymouth Sound.

Also included in the exhibition are a series of photographs taken from her recent research, undertaken in collaboration with the Archaeological team SHIPS Project, which has seen her unearth and photograph artefacts from shipwrecks in Plymouth. These vessels have yielded slave manilas, domestic, personal and nautical items as well as clothing and ornaments, found by local divers and archaeology teams.