As part of its autumn programme, Wolverhampton Art Gallery is delighted to shine a spotlight on the work of one of the city’s talented emerging artists.

Suki Chumber is a visual artist who works in photography, painting and installation. His work has been presented in art institutions in the Midlands and London, including Newhampton Arts Centre and MAC, Birmingham. In 2022, he exhibited in Offsite 9 as part of ‘British Art Show 9’ and holds an MA in Fine Art and a BA (Hons) in Art and Design.

PR1V4TES presents a selection of photographs from the artist’s wider project investigating the cultural phenomenon of personalised car registration plates.

Chumber is fascinated by their use as signifiers of identity, social status and faith, particularly within the British Asian community. In 2019, he began making portraits of car owners with their vehicles and private plates in and around Wolverhampton.

Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for artists to be showcased in a wonderful iconic venue in Wolverhampton.

“The photographs presented by artist Suki Chumber offer fascinating insights into aspects of social and cultural life of our city, featuring local people and places. I look forward to seeing how the project develops.”

Artist Suki Chumber said:

“The project has received a huge amount of interest and people are very excited to be involved.

“This opportunity is very important to me and to be given this chance to showcase my work is amazing! Wolverhampton Art Gallery has been a very exciting space to me for many years and this is a wonderful opportunity. A big thank you to the team at Wolverhampton Art Gallery for their kind support.”

Chumber seeks to throw light on the personal meanings behind individualised car plates and what motivates people to spend large sums of money on them. The project has led him to reflect on broader questions about social and cultural identities in Britain, about ego, hierarchy, class and caste. He wonders if we are becoming more materialistic and asks ‘by having a private car plate do we become more British or something? Or are we just trying too hard to fit in? Is this a British thing?’

PR1V4TES: Suki Chumber is on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery until Sunday 26 March 2023. The exhibition is free to attend and can be seen Monday to Saturday 10.30am until 4.30pm and Sunday 11.30am until 4pm.

For more information on exhibitions and events visit www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk.

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Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Explore more than 300 years of stunning art in this free gallery, located right in the heart of the city centre. Enjoy world-class touring exhibitions, permanent displays, a gallery café and a packed programme of activities to entertain the whole family.

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  1. Olivia Foster
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