Associate Residency '06

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This art project examined the role that art practices can play in a collective...
Associate Residency '06
Venue: 
KHOJ Studios, New Delhi
Date: 
Saturday, 30 September 2006
Participants: 
Brendan Jamison and Vasudha Thozhur

This art project examined the role that art practices can play in a collective trauma such as that which gripped Gujarat that year, and addresses a range of issues from personal loss to displacement, and the possibility of mobilization and economic revival through the use of the visual language.

Vasudha Thozhur (Baroda) & Brendan Jamison (Belfast)Brendan Jamison worked on a series of outdoor site-specific wool works, which were created in direct response to the architectural features of the KHOJ Studios, combined with a selection of small sculptures created in response to Vasudha Thozur's community based art projects.

October Associate Residency

Vasudha Thozhur (Baroda) – supported by Monica Wahi and Zaid Ahmed Sheikh

This art project involved working with six adolescents who lost several members of their families in the carnage at Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad, on the 28th of February 2002. It examines the role that art practices can play in a collective trauma such as that which gripped Gujarat that year, and addresses a range of issues from personal loss to displacement, and the possibility of mobilization and economic revival through the use of the visual language.

In terms of methodology, the focus is on process rather than a on pre-determined outcome, and further the recording of the process through painting, writing, and the digital media, as an archive against forgetting, and the creation of a context – specific resource.

The residency at Khoj more specifically supports the compilation of the output, and looks at ways of presenting/exhibiting process through an experiential rather than a documentary perspective.

Brendan Jamison (Belfast)

Brendan Jamison will present a series of outdoor site-specific wool works, which have been created in direct response to the architectural features of the KHOJ complex. These will be combined with a selection of small sculptures created in response to images produced during Vasudha Thozur's community based art projects.


Brendan Jamison

Immediately drawn to the architecture of the building, I began plans forsome site-specific artworks. This is a realm I have wanted to explore formany years but have never been offered a venue to extend my practice intothis area. With the knowledge that the artworks I would produce could nottravel home with me, my thinking patterns became liberated from a previousstate of mind were I would surround the artwork with a sense of long-termpreservation and preciousness. This time I could concentrate solely on theidea through ephemeral pieces that would survive only through photographicdocumentation.

In the first week, the other resident artist, Vasudha Thozhur, described hercommunity art project that she had been working on for the past 4 years withteenage girls who had been deeply traumatised by the Hindu-Islamic riots of2002. She explained how her exhibition at KHOJ would be a presentation ofthe work produced during this project and invited me to respond to some ofthe pieces the girls had created. I set in motion plans to create a seriesof wool creatures based on images the teenagers had embroidered onto curtainmaterial.

The third week of the residency saw the completion of the four site-specificartworks and the beginning of the wool creature sculptures for Vasudha'sproject.

In the fourth week I concentrated on interior site-specific works whichwould complement the exterior interventions. Entitled "An Other World", myfinal exhibition comprised of 7 elements: red column, blue railing, yellowladder, red bridge, orange circle, yellow diagonal & blue and orange windowframes. This installation was coupled with the two wool sculptures"Four-Legged Creature" and "Creature on Wheels".

Brendan Jamison (Nov 2006)


Vasudha Thozur

This art project, in collaboration with HIMMAT involved working with six adolescents

(Shahjahan Sheikh, Tahira Pathan, Tasleem Kureishi, Rabiya Shiekh, Rehaana Sheikh and Farzana Sheikh) who lost several members of their families in the carnage at Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad, on the 28th of February 2002. It examines the role that art practices can play in a collective trauma such as that which gripped Gujarat that year, and addresses a range of issues from personal loss to displacement, and the possibility of mobilization and economic revival through the use of the visual language.

In terms of methodology, the focus is on process rather than a pre-determined outcome, and further the recording of the process through painting, writing, and the digital media, as an archive against forgetting, and the creation of a context – specific resource.

The residency at Khoj more specifically supports the compilation of the output, and looks at ways of presenting/exhibiting process through an experiential rather than a documentary perspective.

 

HIMMAT

 Himmat is a self-sustaining women’s collective initiated by those affected in the 2002 Gujarat Carnage

Himmat was formed and named so by the women of Naroda-Patiya, Ahmedabad – a year after they lost their husbands and other near and dear ones in the communal carnage. This initiative was started in Vatwa – an area on the outskirts of Ahmedabad where the survivors were relocated. Himmat was gradually embraced and strengthened by the other (mostly single) women of Vatwa. Compelled to earn for their families but refusing to bow down to the exploitative wage system of the market – these women chose to work on their own terms, their own space, their own time and under their own name ‘Himmat’ (Courage).

Himmat tailors pure cotton & khadi (hand spun cotton yarn), which has been block-printed and dyed with natural colours by artisans from Kutch, Gujrat. Besides its own product, Himmat also runs a fabrication unit which fulfills stitching orders in bulk. This income generating enterprise is non-funded and is run by the women themselves.

Through ‘Himmat’ the women learnt and honed their sewing, stitching and embroidery skills. To live a life of dignity, they learned to read and write. To tell their story they learnt to paint. To never be left behind they learnt to cycle. But most importantly, through ‘Himmat’ they have explored new friendships & shared moments of sheer joy.

Himmat is a commemoration to this very spirit which refuses to be buried as a “victim” and in effect to the goodwill and energy of all those individuals who never let the women feel alone. Through this journey we were enriched by innumerable others - other small groups such as ourselves, by artists and artisans, by those who seek a healthy environment; by those who celebrate diversity, by those who believe in non-violence, in self-reliance and in community work.

B-15, Mayur Park Society,Bibi Talav Char Rasta,Vatwa, Ahmedabad.

himmat.ahmedabad@gmail.com