Sowing Seeds 2012
(International Artist Village Residency)
Project: Bhupat Dudi Co-Curator: Chiman Dangi/Brydee Rood
Ana Trincão (Portugal)
“ Pink room “ emerges from a set of circumstances and events that have happened to me during my journey through Indian lands.
I was faced with a heavy ancient tradition, spirituality and cultural protocols that were strange to me.
By observing what was around, I recognized my inability to understand through my “traditional means” (reason and logic) what I was perceiving. It was through the work, especially the process of finding the work (pink room) that I could integrate my experiences and accept a reality that was despicable and amazing at the same time. My intellectual confusion and my sensitive body constantly sent to my brain conflicting messages, promoting the collapse of my projects and expectations.
In Jetpur village, I found a piece of a larger puzzle.
I decided to involve my work and beliefs in this context, trying not to make any uninformed our superficial judgment. Pink Room is a political statement. My culture advocates the development and equality between genres. During the residency I did not tried to change or promote any kind of behavior, although, I continued to be a European woman that I am and always will be.
Pink Room intends to “bring to light” the reality and social environment of Jetpur village. Where many women can not read or write, have difficulty thinking about their role in society and realize their value in the economy of their village. Pink room is an Homage to the loving women I met.
I just wanted to make them know how beautiful they are, how amazing they look and how powerful they can be if they acknowledge themselves fully.
Pink rooM is a manifesto.
Pink rooM is a rap song.
Pink rooM is a hangout room,
Pink rooM is a make-up table.
Pink rooM is a disco club.
Pink rooM is a temple.
Pink rooM is a school.
Pink rooM is a place to make love and found love.
Pink rooM are three and half walls with a garage door where, Her words (not mine), were written in holly pink colour .
pink rooM is for them, the “mast-mast” women of Jetpur.
Alicia Radage (UK)
I became conscious of the male gaze upon me whilst travelling through India on my way to the residency. I found myself in a very different situation from my life in London, where I feel able to walk around anonymously at times, or at others as an exhibitionist. Feeling uncomfortable at times with my new found constant hyper-visibility, I wished for invisibility.
On arriving at the residency I sought out a female of my age and conducted a conversation with her about gender issues and her way of life. For my live performance, she gave me an old sari of hers that I turned into my disguise; an attempt at invisibility. I covered the sari in glue and then sand. As the ground of the village was purely sand, this attire aided me in blending in with the surroundings.
One point that I became stuck on, whilst spending time with her and living in the village, was the impact shared space has upon intimate moments; I noticed that there were no such designated places for such activities, as there are in my environment. ‘Private’ conversations and giving massages were happenings, not dictated by a sense of place. The video I made whilst on Sowing Seeds, entitled Tulsi, is a response to my time spent in the village and with Tulsi.
Krasimir Mitov (Bulgaria)
Each work is born out of an experience. Coming from Bulgaria I saw a different world. India is a country of big contrasts. The first thing what made me the biggest impression it was pot in the shape of a sphere, wich I saw the market place in Jodhpur. I discover a new form-the sphere. I felt its power. The sphere is a perfect form. Then traveling to Jetpur around the way I saw many standing stones with a length of 2.50 m and above. This was typical for this region. My work was done.
I use two simple forms- sphere and prizm, two different materials-pottery and stone. Contrast bedween material and form.
Then while I was looking for a place for my work I saw a wall with a small window built in the street. There was no doubt that this is my place. What does this work mean? I do not know! For me it was a nice experience.
Liu Lushan( China/ Japan)
Memories of Jetpur
In two weeks time, many children from the village turned to familiar faces. Some of them joined my performance project “Memories of Jetpur”. It is a performance project, which recalls the village life in Jetpur based on my cultural visit.
Every morning, my day started with the powerful drumbeats from the Hindu temple, and the soulful prayer of the priest. I could sense that lives of the villagers are closely related to their religious beliefs.
During the day, children invited me to their houses. They would introduce me to their mother, father, grandparents, sisters, relatives, classmates, friends, and their God. There is a strong community tie among them. Their life-style is simple but heart-warming.
Despite of the language barrier, many children were willing to communicate. “Made in China!” A boy pointed at the clock in his house, which had an Indian God printed on the middle. We all laughed about this strange connection between China and India. What was more interesting? Later on, I discovered that Indian time was not synchronizing the Chinese clock. It took me a while to get used to the jet lag, and appreciate slow living.
The Sunlight here is extremely strong. I could hardly open my eyes when I walk under the sun. I heard that there is no rain except for the summer season, and water shortage is hindering the growth of crops in this dry land. Nature and environment determines the way of life in Jetpur.
In the evening, people came together for cerebration. All the villagers were great dancers and musicians. We shared their joyful rhythm and dancing beats. Somehow men and women danced separately. They never held each other’s hands. When the married couple performed together, the wife covered her face with cloth. There seemed to be a huge divide between them.
As a city-dweller I have discovered something extraordinary in the traditional way of living here. Sun and the dry land, men working in the filed and women with water pots, drumbeats and the prayers from the temple, powerful dancing steps, all became my inspiration for the performance project and formed different sequences of this social theater.
Just as any other place in the world, modernization process is proceeding in every corner of our earth. Technology and development has changed our lifestyles and human relationships. In jetpur village too, many young people are migrating to the cities for study and work. Many of them are using mobile phones. Some have brought computer and TVs to their houses.
With light and shadow, this performance creates a time capsule that captures the beauty of the traditional village community. I hope our precious memory in Jetpur will remain forever.
Euler Ellinor (Germany)
Rangoli research project
In my research on pattern or symbols I found certain elements all over the world. The question was would I find the same elements in Rangoli too? To explore village life was quite interesting, visiting the potter, the carpenter and the tailor and studying the structure of the houses. The form of the houses were mostly similar: entrance from the road in an small hall, then an open courtyard with the rooms for living behind. Here I saw the first Rangoli on the ground, not outside but in the courtyard inside and mostly done in white and red.
When the village girls started to come to the camp asking for paper and colour-sticks to draw or paint Rangoli I was offered the chance to be invited into the homes of local families. Some of the girls and women didn’t want to draw in public.
Rangoli in Jetpur is a living tradition, practiced in school and passed on in the family. Sometimes when working in the house – the Mother and the Grandmother gave advice on how to do it better.
Two groups of Rangoli were drawn: geometrical and floral ones. I found the flower of life and a pattern of half triangles, well-known symbols all over the world. Due to language problems I couldn’t ask all the questions I would have liked to, but even so, my Rangoli Research Project happened visually, sharing with symbols.
Emilija Skarnulyte (Lithuania)
BY THE DAY
HD Film, duration 9min, 2013
Earth to earth, dust to dust. New areal happening here. Cold morning, 6 am, trying to catch the grey hour before the sunrise. Trying to escape unseen from the village dogs, but in a moment they surround me. I talk to them. Then I disappear into the daily procession together with 400 cows and buffaloes grazed through the dusty sand cloud towards the fields 10 km far away. At the same time, Every morning the habitants of Jetpur village bring seeds for the birds, as a respect to the sacred place on the hill near the pond, where once a little god-boy drowned. Later, while the sun is peaking high up, the polluted river flows besides the huge textile industry near by. I see the past, which stays in the local peoples’ faces and daily routines. It is not eternal.
I meet a pottery guy. He brings nothing with himself, but I know he is the master of fire. He starts to mold the roof tiles from clay on my thighs. We understand each other with no words. And again I try to catch the sunset in the dust during the “Goat Hour”.
I have spent hours catching and archiving suspended time without interfering with it, without destroying it.
Preksha Tater (Napal/India)
During the residency, the long awaited desire to work with the kids began. It’s said that there is a small world inside everyone which is full of fun and enthusiasm. “Meri Chotti Si Ek Duniya” or “My Small Little World” is a work about fun, desire and curiosities. Therefore by working with kids I tried to recollect those moments of my life.
From the very first day till the end days the kids of Jetpur were following us, entertaining us and showing us directions. Among our several visits the nearby government school was one of them. It reminded me of my school days and the kind of classroom and environment we had .This was all opposite, kids were sitting on the cemented ground, some of the classrooms were barren and the lime coming off from several places. The atmosphere looked dull and depressing, so in order to bring little colour and fun in their school I decided to do the workshop of drawing and clay ,and paint one of the classroom .Though I wished to paint the whole school but unfortunately the time was too short to do that . The entire project was interactive and collaborative in nature.
While painting the classroom I kept in mind the aspect of fun and knowledge. Use of different materials and informative news paper cut outs were used to give dimension to the work. I also invited my co- artists to express and share their views through paint. This helped in bringing different ideas at one place.
The main intension behind the workshops was to stimulate and generate an atmosphere of creative freedom. During the clay work kids were taught to make simple animal forms and were asked to decorate them by collecting different materials from surrounding. The workshop was taken by my co-artist during the residency Rene Reijnders along with me and Shweta Bhatted .In the second workshop of drawing, kids were told to paint their desired profession on the outside wall of the classroom.
Renée Reijnders (The Netherlands)
Water balloon tree
Water balloon treeAs a designer I have an architectural way of looking at the world. In my work there is an interest in creating colourful interactive spaces.
Water balloon tree mixes the rural and contemporary by designing a new non-existing space.
My final work is a stop motion animation with the villagers all contributing their piece of art by adding one water balloon to the tree. Transformation of the growing artwork and daily life is shown in the stop motion. You can even see the farmer`s cow coming home through the gate and the villagers carrying water in their big round pots on their heads. In hindu religion Brahma creates but at the end it has to be destroyed by Shiva to make room for something new. Therefore I needed the help of many children to hang the balloons in the tree and destroy the art work at the end by smashing the water balloons. With no water on the starting day we can raise questions about limited water and energy resources in India.
Shweta Bhattad (India)
JETPUR KE CHALIS SAPNEY… (Forty dreams of Jetpur)
(2012-13 performance duration 2 days)
I did this performance on the awareness of girl child education… It was done at Jetpur- Rajasthan, in Sowing Seeds Residency… The duration of performance was 2days…
Jetpur is a very small village in Rajasthan; it’s around 70kms from Jodhpur… When I was in the village “Jetpur” for the 15 days residency, I developed relation between the villagers and specially the young girls, who always use to be around us and were very excited about our stay in their village…
One day while talking to one of the girl who was hardly 17, I asked about her interests, studies and dreams… and with a long pause she replied “Didi I want to become a Doctor”, and with all her curiosity she asked me, “ Didi how much did you studied after eight class?”, It was the wired question for me… I told her “I did my masters degree in Sculpture”, than she asked “how many classes after “8th” you have to study to become a Doctor?” … It again was a weird question for me as every time she was emphasizing about “eighth class”… Later in conversations I came to know that the villagers don’t allow girls to study after 8th, its very common practice in many remote places of Rajasthan, and then the girls are forced to discontinue the school, with the thought that girls are not made for education and only the house hold works…
There were many such stories, lost dreams every next door… This inspired me to work with these girls and their dreams…
For my project which I titled “Jetpur Ke Chalis Sapney”, I collaborated with the school teachers who were already working on the awareness of girl child in Jetpur from long period of time…
I went to 40 girls of the village asking their foot impressions on the cow dung cakes, the material very familiar to them, which you can find at almost every home…
Tatiana Villani (Italy)
Sewing or sowing
In its preparatory phase this relationship-oriented project attempted to create relationships and to investigate gender practices mostly by means of drawing sessions and interviews. I started my work by selecting the Patel: a family of very simple and very open people in which the parents gave equal opportunities and freedom to their son and their daughter (who, for example, is free to study and at liberty of getting married at her own time).
Subsequently, and with the help of several girls in the village, I undertook the embroidering of the Patel’s family description on a long strip of fabric. In its final form, the installation emerged as a “cluster” of objects that was intended as the symbol of the Patel family. This “cluster” was composed of the most distinctive and meaningful personal objects of each component of the family (e.g. household objects, farming tools, student stationery, etc.) all netted together by the family history, as it stood embroidered on the long strip of fabric.
As a final step, and for closure, I chose to exhibit this artwork within the family house, which was thus transformed for two days into a public space where the being of the Patel family was displayed and offered to the appreciation of all their fellow-villagers, who, in turn, were thus directed to take special notice of the distinctively emancipated and virtuous behaviour of the Patel family.
Tobi Ayedadjou (Benin)
Dad can you hear me ?
In a new and foreign environment, a thousand miles away from my home country, Benin, I felt a strong presence near me, a feeling that perhaps only those who have lost a loved one can understand. In addition, a dream came to disturb one of my nights during my residence at Jetpur. Perhaps an invitation to communicate?
Quickly, an inner dialogue took place between two worlds: the past and the present, maybe to improve the future.
Distant memories reappear, the unspoken came out easily, and anger seemed to evaporate and gave way to quietude inside of me. More than an art project, this video is primarily homage, to him.
A ritual between people from the village of Jetpur and me: I exhibited and offered my hair for everyone who would like to approach, pouring water into it or touch it as well.
Going to Jetpur, I couldn’t imagine that my hair would attract so much attention.
I draw my inspiration from this attraction and curiosity for the performance.
Stacy Isenbarger (USA)
Sticks, Stones and Sunder
Warmth—a new skin of blue
A surface, that of myself
acts as curtain
to more earthly lights,
tapped out in song
in swirling dirt drifts
among the projected light
The distance between myself
a loss celebrated in the blue of Shiva.
Celestial silhouettes laid out in unison.
Distributed in equal exchange.
façade is projected dominance.
icons, vulnerable to misreading
An act can be a question, a purpose—an art.
Lines on a surface when traced
formulated for meaning.
Transcribed they become the difference,
lost to translation a new connection is met.
a celebration at foot—a dance.
façade is a structure of acknowledgment.
language, vulnerable to neglect.
When you place its sharp edges at the bottom of a riverbed
it softens as a pillow
yet has no give.
a net of crafted offering its blanket
cast out to comfort
foreshadows its destination.
Take it with you,
out of the blessed, dried waters
Carry it गृह. (translation: home)
Façade is a barrier between beings.
materials, vulnerable to change.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will कभी hurt me.
You said they wouldn’t get it.
I said I know… (translation: never)
Distance was traveled in expectation.
stones left behind.
not as expressions of mourning,
Façade reveals itself a label.
A barrier contrived amongst school walls.
In a five-part beat, I find my place
dripping new shades of red
brown at my extensions,
blue at my feet.
reformed star of equal measure.
Satyam Shivam Sunderam. Beautiful.
Welcoming in cracks of misunderstanding
we celebrate entry
from one space to another,
where collisions, noticed
Parmar kantilal (India)
The Tree of Life
My work is concerned with the environmental hazards we are facing in today’s time. This work is an outcome of my interaction with of the lay community of the Jeitpur village. Moreover the interaction I had with the artist community at sowing seeds has helped me approach my work with a sensitive eye.
I have nailed plastic bottles to a barren tree trunk. I have also nailed broken clay pots to the trunk. The plastic bottles are the products of today’s time, unlike the clay pots which are products of the yesteryears. By this combination I aim at showing how plastic has started to overpower nature and suck the life out of our environment. The bottles metaphorically are sucking the life out of our trees, which are the lungs of the Earth. The increasing usage of plastic has affected the use of eco-friendly products made of clay.
Chiman Dangi (India) and Brydee Rood(NZ)
Falling Between Time ( collaborative project)
Falling Between Time – An ephemeral collaboration sited in a popular meeting spot in front of the Baba Ramdev Temple, beside the shared water access point and at the entrance of the Sowing Seeds Artist Camp. The site became an intersection for social gatherings and dialogues within the created habitat. Falling Between Time intermingles material reflection, the elements (light, air, water, earth) and the traditional processes of spinning yarns. It is a village custom to collect recycled fibres (old saree cloth, animal hairs…) and typically older men would gather, telling tales and spinning yarns to pass time socially. Amongst other uses, these yarns would commonly be reused to construct the stretched surfaces of wooden bed frames, a bed made from this process would last around 30 years compared to a bed stretched with new, cheaply available plastics and synthetics. The collected recycled yarns were dangled and strewn high, falling low to the earth from the ample limbs of a Baniyad Tree, highlighted in the reflective puddles, echoed with the colours of local pigments pooling in the silver foil plates placed around the base of trunk. The ritual combination of elements, looping nature, circular patterning, spinning and rounding of the delicate installation suggests life cycles and support structures within a shifting environment.
Brydee Rood (New Zealand)
Promising Greener Futures – Bandi River Action
I didn’t imagine I would find the time and space to explore a personal direction within the lively hectic 14 day camp; however when I heard about the topical situation of chemical waste pollution in the local Bandi River. I felt compelled to initiate a visit, six artists headed out for the riverside and each were profoundly affected by the site we encountered; the stench, the encrusted greenish chemical build up flanking the riversides, the black-green waters and the unnervingly quiet lack of wildlife. Bandi River saddened us all and compelled me to attempt some small gesture.
Over the course of 48 hours, with the support of the village chief I pulled together a length of white cloth and green paint. Aided by Anant Kumar and Neeraj Patel I hand painted a simple text in English “Promising Greener Futures…” and in Hindi “Hariyali Hi Bhaavi Jivan Hai…” The text suggests our human failures, our ability to promise change and fail repeatedly in our delivery. The political context of the Bandi River shifts responsibilities, its toxic water never finding purity between the textile factory owners illegally dumping untreated chemical waste directly into its flow and from what I grasped (following many discussions and translations) a law which states that dumping untreated waste is illegal but there is a governmental failure in enforcing it.
Together Sowing Seeds artists carried this action; standing quietly meditative, holding the cloth, breathing in the noxious air, the souls of our collective footwear pushing into the upper crust of that alien chemical sand. Promising Greener Futures generated a flurry of media attention and visibility; a mere gesture in the potential of a promised greener future and a fervent wish for change. In a quiet ritual extension of the act, I folded up the banner, tying it with string, casting it adrift in the Bandi River and leaving it for a few days to grow fetid. Upon retrieving my carefully folded “promise” I found it to be putrid, a foul mottled greyish, blackened flop.
Rahul Vishwakarma (India)
Books are always count as source of knowledge, but couple of other customs also adds the significance. Viz., Generation changes with the time, and these teaches always new substance. Another way to acquire knowledge is “Experiences” that teaches the ways of life. These ‘Experiences’ travel from generation to generation in various forms. There are many forms to share those experiences, where ‘PROVERBS’ plays an imperative role.
Proverb is a simple & concrete saying, popularly known and repeated cliché, that expresses a truth that based on common sense and the practical experience of people. It’s easy to remember and often metaphorical. Proverbs are used to describe different situations and pop-in the charm in our communication skills.
Whereas, its pity that the proverbs are hardly used these days. If the situation remains the same, very soon our forth coming generation will lose the vast part of our knowledge. I am quite inspired by this tradition and significance in our life. Through this project I aim to restore the tradition of “proverbs”, and want to address the generations that what they are losing.