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Tides That Bind

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Taking forward some of the ideas that took root at the Coriolis Effect Residency in 2016, Tides That Bind proposes to look a little deeper into the historic and contemporary links between India and the African continent through textiles, art works and photography.

The Public Art installation will feature works that show the historical and persistent links that tie our lives together in many direct and indirect ways photographs and historical research of the Sidis (Luke Duggleby,, currently in talks) will be juxtaposed with similar research and photographs of the Indian Diaspora in African countries (research ongoing). Andrew Ananda Voogels photographs from the Caribbean, accompanied by excerpts from his fictionalized telling (in Khirkee Voice) of his great grandmothers forced migration to the continent, will also be part of the

The textiles component of the exhibition, co-curated with Mayank Mansingh Kaul, will show textiles that speak of the historical trade and imperial exchanges that have continued to influence our handicrafts today. I am also in talks with Liza Groebler to co-create a textile and embroidery piece with Shibi, which will follow from a more collaborative process than their earlier engagement.

The third, ‘linking’ component of the exhibition will be a piece mapping the historical sea routes between India and various parts of the African continent by Andrew Ananda Voogel. I am in talks with him currently to perhaps also create one that looks at contemporary trade and culture/ education links in a similar mapping exercise.

The project proposes to create an adaptable, collapsible installation designed to be inserted into a variety of public spaces, in the process making a stackable, packable, traveling object that can be propped, strung up, or hung on a frame in spaces as diverse as public parks, sidewalks, metro plazas, under flyovers, in mall atriums and even at private art galleries.

Digital prints will be made on fabric- allowing for durability and easy maintenance- that will be stretched across bamboo frames. An outer framework of bamboo and canvas will form a pop-up gallery in larger public spaces, allowing passerby to negotiate in and around the panels of photographs, art works and
textiles. In tighter spaces, individual panels could be strung up on available infrastructure or foliage.
In lieu of the conventional ‘exhibition catalogue’, the final component of the public installation will be a pocket notebook/ diary (3.5” X 2.5”) that will be available at the various points of installation/ pop-up. The pages of the notebook will be interspersed with a selection of images and text from the exhibition, making accessible to the larger public a more nuanced view of the undeniable links between our two cultures.

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