Meanwhile an Owl Sings a Song
The world of mining has been a central concern in my work. I began to work on this subject from 2010 when I was studying in M.S.U. Baroda. Initially, it was more about my personal life experience and memories, but then have started visiting different countries for work and research which lead me to engage with various kinds of mining landscapes, people, culture, mining museums, old mining sites, heritage buildings, reclaimed/transformed mining land and, cultural mining institutes. These experiences have changed my perspective on mining as a subject. Since the issue of mining is inextricably connected to the land; it’s people and their rights, I address the issues of depleting natural resources, future of my hometown or any other mining town, abandoned villages and deserted mining land as well as displacement of communities through my work. Going beyond that, my concern is also to imagine and envision a reclaimed landscape and transformation of deserted mining lands in the form of cultural mining museums, amphi theatres, farming or wind turbines.
I am constantly finding new means of expressing the different questions and futures related to mining, farming and people through my site-specific works. I have been exploring newer methods of drawing, expanding my boundaries by using lamps and casting shadows on them. The shadows of cutouts and three-dimensional objects allow me to add conceptual and formal layers to my drawings. Farming and mining implements are used metaphorically to communicate the predicaments of these communities. I also often apply stop-animation techniques using my drawings. This technique helps me ‘play’ with my visuals and add another dimension to my drawings, which then take on a new form. In my site-specific works, I enjoy working with the architecture of a space and using the scale to create impactful, performative and highly expressive work. The process of drawing on walls allows me the opportunity to engage viewers in multiple ways. I began using charcoal as a medium in response to the subject of my work. I appreciate its depth and graphics quality, its sense of temporality intrigues me which has sustained the use of this material for reasons both visual and conceptual.