Madi Acharya-Baskerville: The Double Act

17 July 2024 - 19 July 2025

Madi Acharya-Baskerville is a London-based, South Asian artist whose work explores themes of environmental concerns, migrations and gender issues. Using found and discarded materials sourced from coastlines, woodlands and vintage markets, Acharya-Baskerville’s sculptures provoke ecological activism with a helping of irony, humour and playfulness.

Created in response to the theme ‘Parade’, for the Royal Society of Sculptors’ First Plinth: Public Art Award 2023, The Double Act is composed of two figures dancing together in joyous harmony. With an emphasis on using reclaimed materials, the work resembles a humorous party scene. This sense of celebration is quickly accompanied by darker undertones, hinting at the serious need to tackle climate change, and the importance of valuing diversity in society.

Acharya-Baskerville explores the potential of materials, especially those that are often discarded, but do not or degrade easily. She collects and reuses these to configure new sculpture forms. Hybridity is important in the artist’s practice. For this installation, Acharya-Baskerville uses wood that has fallen from trees, a common material used in many of the artist’s sculptures. Together they are assembled with human-made materials such as metal, bronze and painted resin, while her sculptural figures dance on a platform of reclaimed timber and driftwood.

Acharya-Baskerville was the winner of the 2023 First Plinth: Public Art Award, set up by RSS to offer sculptors an opportunity to extend their practice into competing for public art commissions and support the fabrication of the chosen proposal.

The Award is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Mirisch and Lebenheim Charitable Foundation. With special thanks to the Royal Society of Sculptors, an artist-led, membership organisation that champions contemporary sculpture and the artists who create it.

Image courtesy of Mike Glide Photography.