Paul Dash and Habda Rashid in conversation

Spring Term, sees the return of the Royal Drawing School series of Creative Conversations; online dialogues between artists, curators and writers. Curated by Dr Claudia Tobin, lectures are held Wednesday evenings live on Zoom.

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Paul Dash and Habda Rashid in-conversation

Paul Dash, 'The Float', 2015, pen and ink. Courtesy/copyright of the artist.

Artist Paul Dash will be in-conversation with Habda Rashid, Senior Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge. They will discuss Paint Like the Swallow Sings Calypso, the recent exhibition at Kettle’s Yard which featured Dash’s works placed in dialogue with historical pieces including manuscripts, prints and paintings. The works in the exhibition reflect the themes and history of Carnival. The conversation will expand through an examination of Dash’s artistic history, subject matter and technique to highlight his originality of style and his art and non-art influencers including Barbados, his home country.

Paul Dash was born in 1946 in Barbados, Dash, at the age of 11, came to Britain to join his family in Oxford where he had his secondary education. As a schoolboy he excelled at art. Determined to go to art college, he accepted a place at Chelsea School of Art in 1965. After graduating, he did odd jobs before going into part-time teaching, building a successful career first in schools and later as a lecturer at London University, achieving an MA and then a PhD. 

Throughout his period in education Dash continued to paint. In 1979 while teaching at Haggerston School, he painted a self-portrait in the kitchen of his North London flat. Other significant pieces were also made in similar circumstances including Revellers Gather for Mas’ which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1998. 

Dash was a participating artist in Life Between Islands, the recent ground-breaking exhibition at Tate Britain, from which his Self Portrait and Talking Music were purchased by Tate Galleries. He has also shown in other key exhibitions and at prestigious venues including The Colombia Threadneedle Street Prize at Mall Galleries, The London Open at Whitechapel Galleries, The Arrivants Exhibition at Barbados Museum and No Colour Bar at Guildhall Galleries. He had his first major one person show at 198 Gallery in Brixton in 2019.

Habda Rashid works across the Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle’s Yard with a remit to acquire works that broaden representation, as well as shape and deliver collections-based displays, research, public programming and curatorial work on the collections of 20th and 21st-century British art, within a global context. She was appointed Senior Curator at Create London in 2019 and stepped up to interim Artistic Director in 2021. Habda was formerly part of the curatorial department at the Whitechapel Gallery and has taught on the MFA programmes at the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths University.

Her extensive experience of contemporary art has seen her commission new works and curate exhibitions with a wide range of artists including Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Mary Heilmann and Veronica Ryan. She has also written for and edited numerous publications, writing texts on artists such as Leonor Antunes, Elmgreen & Dragset and has more recently selected and written on artists for the upcoming Phaidon publication on collage. Habda has sat on numerous selection panels, was an external selector for the Tate Frieze acquisitions (2022) and is currently an Art Historian Association Curatorial Committee Member.

Paul Dash and Habda Rashid in-conversation
Paul Dash, 'Whirling Dervish Dancers Parade', 2015, pen and ink. Courtesy/copyright of the artist.

Cover image: Paul Dash, 'The Float', 2015, pen and ink. Courtesy/copyright of the artist.