Wednesday, April 4, 2012

'the pop of India/The Casting'



Theertha @ No.1 Shanthiroad 2012: ‘The pop from India’

There are many things that Sri Lanka has received from India in the 20th century including the ‘sacks of dhal dropped from the skies’ in the late 1980s or early 1990s. In this exhibition a group of Sri Lanka artists are looking at, taking note of and engaging with a ‘thing’ that comes from sky from India to the interiors of Sri Lankan house holds: the Indian popular culture. Like ‘Mysore dhal’ that which is a sure presence in Sri Lankan meals, Indian popular culture is a definite ingredient in Sri Lankan cultural menus. Even though Mysore dhal and Indian popular culture are ubiquitous presences in Sri Lanka, there is, I guess, a clear difference in the way we, the Sri Lankans think about ‘Mysore dhal’ and Indian popular culture. We love ‘Mysore dhal’ and we are proud of our dhal recipes, and we are most profoundly appalled by the Indian inability to cook dhal ‘properly’! Indian dhal curry is too watery and tasteless! 

Jagath Weerasinghe

* This exhibition is part of the Sethusamudram Project a 3 year collaborative art project that Theertha International Artists Collective, Colombo, Sri Lanka and1.Shanthiroad Studio/Gallery, Bangalore, India have developed collectively envisioning to engage with and address the highly complex and variegated history and links, similarities, shared anxieties, emotions and histories between India and Sri Lanka.

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'The Casting' by Leslie Johnson

My recent work is thematic suites of watercolours and sculptures that examine our coexistence with the world of objects and products. Through the process of re-imagining the overlooked and ephemeral; small figurines, fragments of text from the daily life are reworked into significance; inviting reconsideration of status and value. For 1.Shantiroad I am further exploring a project where I cast small sculptures from plastic packaging.  I became curious as to what this outer skin around products actually looks like and find a lot of humour in recycling the leftover packaging into objects with a potential value of their own.  What are we actually buying? An object or an object with a package and new potential use?

About the Artist: Leslie Johnson, born and raised in the US and Canada, has lived in Sweden since 1989. Her work has been exhibited in Moscow, New York; but widely in Scandinavia, where she has worked at the Valand School of Fine Arts in Göteborg Sweden, both as teacher and Director. Represented in Västerås, Göteborg, Borås Art museums as well as Swedish state and private collections; grants include one and two year grants from the Swedish State Arts Council and a residency 2010 (RIAA) in Buenos Aires.  She is published in Swedish art journals Ord & Bild, Paletten, Art Monitor.


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