Public / Private: a small token
The exhibition was shown across multiple venues from 2005–06: 1 Shanthi Road in Bangalore, Khoj Studios in Delhi, Logan Art Gallery and at Portside in Brisbane.
Laser and hand cut polypropylene panels. Embroidery with dental floss. Each panel 1235 x665mm.
In 2002 I represented Australia at the Khoj International Artists Workshop in Mysore India. It was a wonderful few weeks, meeting and working with artists from around the globe; and enjoying great hospitality and kindness from our Indian hosts who rapidly became friends.
In late 2004 I returned to India to 2004 to undertake an Asialink residency. The work originated with a desire to bring an exhibition expressing my particular Australian perspective. Plant forms from my neighbourhood, sketched during concept design for a public art project, were further developed to become potent tokens conveying a sense of my city.
The plant forms were first expressed as delicate drawings. These were then translated into embroidery referencing Chikankari, traditional Indian white work. The work became a translation of the drawn line into a three-dimensional embroidered structure. The drawings also form the basis for designs inspired by paper cut outs, further translated into industrially – cut polypropylene. Starting with the wish to revel in lightness and translucency, these works explore colour, craftsmanship and pattern.
Formal concerns focus around the particular qualities that hand and laser cutting technologies present; processes and materials introduced through involvement in Public art commissions. Funding from the Australia Council supported the creation of the work in Brisbane and allowed me to work with Indian professional artists and creatives to produce a catalogue, adding greatly to my experience.
So the work was really almost a summing up of my development in the intervening two years between my visits to India. People, opportunities, commissions and an awakening self-understanding, all infused with a joyful appreciation of that first monumental and wonderful experience.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Mandy Ridley was supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.
Installation view and detail
Installation views and detail photography by Samit Das, Rod Buchholz and Mandy Ridley.
Process: development & installation
Process: development & installation photography by Samit Das, Suresh Jayaram, David Ridley and Mandy Ridley.