Monday, 13 February 2012

Noble Sage hosts Sandhya Pai’s first London installation

The Noble Stage Art Gallery – the first in London specializing in South Asian Contemporary Art – has announced details of its latest exhibit, an installation by acclaimed Indian artist Sandhya Pai.
‘Grass Roots’ is Pai’s first installation in London and showcases her interests with ritual, worship, memory and history.  
In Grass Roots, Pai uses crushed newspaper pulp as the base for her installation, signifying the words and letters that together make up an individual’s living recent history, paradoxically made into a unrecognizable – not to mention unreadable – soil-like surface.  From this ‘soil’, or as Pai describes it this ‘source’, emerge figures from Pai’s history, in black and white, like idols of worship.
It’s a method Pai has utilized in her creations before, most notably in 2008’s ‘Landscapes and Memories’ which saw her use paddy grass to form outlines of the map of Mattancherry, Fort Kochi live inside a gallery.  These outlines related to her walks where she viewed many different cultures of people living close together in the town.  Amongst and above these grass paths she placed drawings relating to the people and scenery she had witnessed along the way.
Born in 1982 in Karnataka, India, Pai is a graduate of Mumbai’s Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy School of Art, the oldest art institution in the city.  Her work has been noted for exploring themes such as home rituals and the energy and visual aesthetic of the collective and the snapshot memories of our pasts as photographed by us as well as by our elders.
Nine days after the tragic events of 9/11, Pai created the sublime performance installation, ‘20/9 Worship’ in her ancestral village in Karnataka. On the occasion of her father’s sixtieth birthday, and with the reaffirmation of her parents’ marital vows at that same event, Pai daringly placed large drawn images of his past throughout the space, high up, so that they were included in (if not interrupting) all audience visual participation in the rituals and celebrations. These images often showed moments in her father’s history that interwove with the pasts of many present at the ceremony, alluding to how our view of the present is invariably colored by our past.
The exhibition takes place 17th – 26th February 2012.
For more information, visit
-    Vijitha Alles/Reports

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