Manchester Art Gallery

Hetain Patel

Bolton born Hetain Patel uses humour and the languages of popular culture and explores fantasy through a domestic lens.

Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 30 September 2017–Sunday 4 February 2018


This new exhibition by Hetain Patel includes two film works: The Jump (2015) and a major new commission, Don’t Look At The Finger (2017), commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella with Manchester Art Gallery and QUAD. These works continue the artist’s recent fascination with staging archetypal Hollywood action scenes within domestic settings, employing the characteristic humour in all Patel’s work. Don’t Look At The Finger presents a wedding ceremony where bodies speak physically, where the protagonists seek human connection through ritual combat and signed languages. The Jump features Patel’s homemade replica Spider-Man costume and connects the widely recognised fantasy of action and superhero films with the domestic setting of his British Indian family home in Bolton, in the UK.

Behind the scenes preview – Don’t Look At The Finger

First impressions are often incorrect

Director of the Film and Video Umbrella, Steven Bode, writes about Don’t Look At The Finger.

Imtiaz Dharker: The Jump

As part of Manchester Literature Festival 2017, poet, artist and documentary filmmaker Imtiaz Dharker responded to solo exhibitions from South Asian artists Neha Choski, Risham Syed, Mehreen Murtaza, Waqas Khan and Hetain Patel. Here’s her poem, The Jump.


Look at the hands: Discussion with Hetain Patel, Chirag Lukha and Louise Stern

Recorded at Manchester Art Gallery on 23 November 2017 to coincide with his solo exhibition, Hetain Patel joins two of his collaborators from ‘Don’t Look at the Finger’ – martial arts expert and choreographer Chirag Lukha, and writer, artist and sign language consultant Louise Stern. The panel discuss their interest and involvement in making the film and take questions from the audience.


Hetain Patel is a British born artist of Indian descent who grew up in Bolton and is now based in London. Patel makes photographs, videos, sculptures and live performances, usually for galleries and theatres. He is interested in connecting marginalised identities with the mainstream in an effort to destabilise notions of authenticity and promote personal freedom. With an autobiographical starting point he uses humour and the languages of popular culture and explores fantasy through a domestic lens.

Find out more about the South Asia art and culture programme 2017-18

Hetain Patel has exhibited at Tate Britain (2009), Serpentine Gallery (2014), Sadler’s Wells, London (2015), New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2012), Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai (2015), and Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2012). He is represented by Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai.

QUAD Gallery

Patel will also show this work at QUAD Gallery, Derby, from Friday 29th September to Sunday 19th November 2017.
For more information please see

QUAD      Film and Video Umbrella

Hetain Patel, The Jump (film still) 2015
Courtesy the artist

Exhibition paint kindly supplied by Farrow&Ball

Farrow & Ball logo