Mending cracks; Limitations
Solo show at Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore in December 2016 and upcoming solo show at the Asian Centre, UBC with the Centre for India and South Asia Research from January 15th till February 28th 2017. I am a Research Associate with CISAR, 2015-17.
The central theme of this series is disability, trauma and the complex process of recovery. I was buried under rubble in the 2001 earthquake in Kutch. Long-term, this resulted in the partial paralysis and atrophy of my left arm. I also found myself faced with a further battle to get over the experience, psychologically as well as physically. Through this process, I realized the complex meaning of “mending.” I am visualizing this experience by exploring the experience of the incident and the experiences of ‘loss’ that it made so central to my life.
My research hitherto on trauma and art production has shown that often, works on trauma and healing are assumed to target a specific audience or special group, rather than a broad public. It is my goal with this work to reach out to a broad audience to communicate the idea of trauma and healing. This show consists of video, digital images, an installation/ ‘hangings’ of drawings made out of gauze on X-ray sheets. X-ray sheets and gauze act as metaphors for the record of loss, its measure and diagnosis; they also gesture towards the complicated process of healing.
Preliminary work in the ‘Mending Cracks’ series was exhibited in Vancouver, Canada in 2015; a selection of works will be exhibited there again in January-February 2017. The idea has also inspired the newly founded group, the South Asia Canada History Association (SACHA), which I am part of, to envision a project that engages the nationwide commemoration of the 150-year story of Canada in 2017 around the idea of trauma and recovery. The project seeks to embrace the “difficult” stories that comprise the Canadian story: not just the stories of triumph and celebration we are used to seeing at such times of commemoration, but also those of difficulty and loss. In this way I seek to participate in recognition and reconciliation with trauma both in India and in Canada, where I now spend much of my time.
Work on “Mending Cracks” previously exhibited: