Working across the media of painting, photography and video, Shiraz Bayjoo explores notions of nationhood, personal and collective identities and porous borders. His works often take the form of installations or are conceived as collaborative projects with local communities and schools. Using photographs and artefacts stored in public and personal archives, Bayjoo investigates the complex histories and questions around authoring collective identity in a postcolonial world.
Co-commissioned with Iniva and Art Night in 2019, Shiraz Bayjoo’s artwork Pran Kouraz (take courage) explores notions of migration and displacement through a 13 minute, 16mm film made with pupils from Mission Grove primary school, Walthamstow. In 2018, Iniva commissioned Bayjoo to create original lithographic images which was used in Let’s Talk About Values, a set of 30 cards exploring the idea of British Values, co-published by Iniva and A-Space. In 2015, Bayjoo completed the film Ile de France as part of a residency programme at Iniva. In this non-narrative film images of the nature and architecture of his native Mauritius function as historical documents representing encounters between the island and its colonial past.
Many of his works, such as Global Miniatures (2009), display Bayjoo’s signature style of creating politically and culturally charged collages where symbols of national identity – flags, maps and cultural motifs – are combined with translucent layers of paint, reflecting on the effects of colonialism and migration. Bayjoo said, ‘Looking into the narrative of disappearing identities, I look away from my own cultural heritage, finding common ground with lesser-known realities.’
Originally from Mauritius, Bayjoo studied at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. His work has been exhibited at Art Night, London (2019); the 4th Biennale de Casablanca (2018); MADA Gallery, Monash University, Melbourne (2018); 13th Biennale de Dakar, Senegal (2018); 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018); OPEN SOURCE Contemporary Arts Festival, London (2016); Greenlease Gallery, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, US (2015); INIVA, London (2015) and Tate Britain, London (2010). His work can be found in the collections of the Government of the United Kingdom and Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain, France.
Bayjoo lives and works in London and Mauritius.