Photography, Performance, Sculpture
Photography, Installation, Performance
Installation, Handweaving
Installation, Handweaving
Installation, Handweaving
Installation, Handweaving
Print, Installation
Text, Publication
Sculpture, Installation
Print, Drawing, Scan
Print, Drawing, Scan
Mixed-media Drawing
Photography, Creative Direction

b. 1995, Kerala, India
Lives and works in London

Tony Jacob is an artist, writer and researcher. His multimedia practice that spans textile, text, print, installation, photography and performance enquires the relationship between the body and social control in its navigation of public and private space. He is interested in critical writing, research, scholarship and the interplay between theory and practice. His research interest includes the discourse of the body especially with relation to race, gender and queer affectivity; decoloniality; postcolonialism; and choreographic practices. He is the founder and organiser of Critical Symposium, an artist-run forum that meets online monthly with multidisciplinary international artists to engage in critical discourse on specific themes within the premise of critical, responsive and research-based art practices so as to build interdisciplinary collaboration, knowledge and exchange. He holds an MA in Contemporary Art Practice (Public Sphere) from Royal College of Art, London, UK (2023) and a B.Des in Textile Design from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai, India (2017).



Artist Statement

I have been paying attention to the ways in which my body has been navigating public and private spaces. Recently more so than before. Since my move to London in 2021, I find my body more visible, alert and shameful of itself in public spaces. Prior to the move, back in India it was more conscious for its display of queerness and masculinity over its racialised subjectivity.

My interest in the discourse of the body and social control comes from the ways in which my body has internalised and memorised ideas of shame, ridicule, differentiation and inferiority when subjected and subjugated to scrutiny and examination for its queerness, masculinity, racial and cultural identity by the public gaze and in public spaces.

By adopting the use of my own body that the embodiment of the queer and the postcolonial, my practice aims to explore the body’s racialised, gendered and queer subjectivities with relation to its spatiotemporality. By adopting positions of release over control, I’m interested to explore and uncover the powers that operate the body, and to speculate how a body that defies control might operate with autonomy.

Grids become a recurring motif in my practice on which the body interacts; where its ubiquity becomes synonymous with normalcy and normativity. Photography as a modality becomes important in my practice, as the camera as an apparatus facilitates ‘gaze’. The idea of the gaze extends beyond the scope of vision to the material and physcial terrains of the grid when the body learns to look, measure and imagine itself with and through its fields.  

The gesture of the recline is suggestive of a state of compromised consciousness, a poise of passivity, and a state of not knowing. Conversely through this act of lying down, the body assumes a state of becoming - becoming of the figurine of the decolonial; an opportunity to imagine alternate realities.


Condensed CV

2021-2023 Royal College of Art, London, UK
Master of Arts in Contemporary Art Practice (Public Sphere)

2013-2017 National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai, India
Bachelor of Design in Textile Design

2015 Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan, Italy
Undergraduate Semester Exchange Program in Fashion Design

July 2023-present ‘Critical Symposium’
Founder, Organiser
  • Organise monthly artist meetings, fostering discourse and interdisciplinary connections.
  • Manage forum operations, guide discussions, and maintain artist communication, while creating digital content and managing online presence.

Group Exhibition
July 2023 ‘RCA Degree Show’, The Truman Brewery, Shoreditch, London
March 2022 ‘Hybrid Realities’, Online, London
February 2022 ‘CAP Salon’, Dyson Gallery, Battersea, London
February-June 2022 ‘WIP RCA’, Online, London
June 2018 ‘Designer’s Edit’, Avenue Centre, Kochi, India

Research Experience
2022 ‘Textile by Text’ (Dissertation - distinction), Critical & Historical Studies, Royal College of Art, London, U.K.
2017 Field research: craft-ecological symbiosis (practice-based), 11.11/eleven eleven, New Delhi, India
2015 Textile researcher: feminist practice Hand-in-Hnd (Not-For-Profit), Chennai, India

Selected Publication
2022 Archetype, The Pluralist, London, U.K.
2018 Unfreedom, Platform Magazine, New Delhi, India
2018 Ritika Merchant: on Breaking all Mythical Boundaries, Platform Magazine, New Delhi, India
2018 Shreya Dev Dube, Platform Magazine, New Delhi, India