#WeekendFix: See the past woven into the present at an art exhibition | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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#WeekendFix: See the past woven into the present at an art exhibition

This project began as a way for artist Sumakshi Singh to reconnect with her deceased mother. It’s become an ephemeral manifestation of memory.

art and culture Updated: May 22, 2017 13:14 IST
Riddhi Doshi
Memory, nature, science and fantasy come together in the lace-like fragments that make up Sumakshi Singh’s art.
Memory, nature, science and fantasy come together in the lace-like fragments that make up Sumakshi Singh’s art.
Leaving the Terrestrial, art work by Sumakshi Singh
  • WHERE: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla
  • WHEN: May 7 to June 6, 10 am to 6 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)
  • CALL: 2373-1234
  • ENTRY FEE: Rs 10

Memories live on, but they don’t cling. That’s the philosophy behind artist Sumakshi Singh’s exhibition, Leaving the Terrestrial: Its own Kind of Archive.

Singh’s works draw from her own life and environment. They began as a way to reconnect with her mother after she passed away.

A year and a half ago, Singh first began to embroider the words from her mother’s letters. When she also started embroidering flowers like the ones her mother used to send her with the letters, it occurred to her that the fabric they were on was “too present”, that the words and flowers were “clinging too hard to their backgrounds and needed to float free from the fabric”.

So she fashioned a way to keep the embroidery intact even as she did away with the fabric holding it together. It resulted in drawings that appear to be embroidered on air – no ground, no paper, no fabric to hold them. “Like the nature of memory,” says Singh.

The exhibit mimics a natural history museum style. The works invent and reconfigure botanical and maritime specimens with thread and wire. Memory, nature, science and fantasy come together in her lace-like fragments. Fragile woven-skeletons of pressed flowers, leaves and seeds float in glass vitrines, seemingly unaffected by gravity.

It makes for immersive and meditative viewing. The second installation features a growing, dying, resurrecting garden of light. Singh has created it using luminous hand-drawn and embroidered stop-motion animation, projected on transparent fabric scrolls and suspended plants.

Fragile woven skeletons of pressed flowers, leaves and seeds float in glass vitrines, seemingly unaffected by gravity.