Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Two Gardens and a Kalamkari, lecture by Omana Eappen @ 1Shanthiroad

About the Talk

This presentation, studying the representations of the Deccani garden in 16th and 17 th century kalamkari textiles from South India looks at the importance of imagination and of rasa, emotional essence, in engaging with the past. Also about associations which are important in our culture like ornamentation, alamkara. How plants – animals – men – gods are a continuum, one often representing the other, one being treated like the other, just like representations of the past, present and future, are another continuum without sharp dividing lines. Omana Eappen looks at multiple ways of looking at the past – accommodating plurality in a country that is extremely diverse, which could be through combinations and multivalence. She looks at how intertwined textiles and gardens were, how the iconography of an image developed, markers of identity, and the many layers, political, economic, social, scientific - that are all woven together in our dealing with the past.

About the Speaker
Omana Eappen is the Managing Trustee of the Nauras Trust, Bengaluru – working on a project with the Archaeological Survey of India and the National Culture Fund to revitalise the 17th century Adil Shahi Gardens of the Ibrahim Rauza and the Gol Gumbaz (the tombs of Ibrahim Adil Shah II and his son Mohammad Adil Shah respectively) in Bijapur (now Vijayapura), Karnataka and on its related publication. Looking for evidence of gardens in textiles led to an in depth study of a rare group of 16th/17thcentury kalamkaris from South India. She is writing a monograph on these textiles for Jnana Pravaha, Varanasi. She is interested in relating these projects to our times in multiple ways to connect across the plural segments of our society.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Weaving in Weaving out- A show of drawings sculptures and installation by Sian Torrington

Siân Torrington is an artist from New Zealand, Aotearoa, who makes drawings, sculptures
and installations. Her work has been widely shown in galleries, festivals, and commissioned
for public spaces. She uses diverse materials to create structural forms which are expressive,
embodied and grounded in practice-based experimentation. Her work is experiential,
requiring the viewer to move around, through and inside, asking their bodies to respond in
space. Siân’s work is drippy and colourful, stuck and woven together, leaning and clinging to
existing structures, or building its own in defiance of straight lines and the upright.
Siân has been artist in residence for 3 months at 1 Shanthi Road, generously funded by The
Asia New Zealand Foundation. She has researched everyday skills and vernacular structures,
as well as local forms of arrangement; how things are hung up in shops or stacked building
materials. A particular focus of the project has been being a woman in India, and how to
express her femme identity in a new culture. How to find a place for it.
Skill-based, everyday making, such as flower-tying and bamboo- weaving have been a way
to connect with local practices of making.
“I want to make my own kind of offering towards these incredible skills which I see
everywhere. Skills that are a part of every-day life here. Skills which do not make people
rich. Skills which are hard to learn, and essential to life. To join together, beautify, bless,
carry and build.”
Siân is extremely grateful and humbled to be taught new skills, work with, and be gifted
materials by local women. This project includes the generous labour, teaching and time of
women without whom she would have remained adrift. Their conversations, humour,
sharing and openness have enabled her to weave her own way in and find connections in a
place that is completely new. This show is dedicated to them, and to female struggles,
community, expression and daily lives, everywhere.
See more of her work and read her blog about her residency here;