Bind/Bound

by Poorvi Rajimwalé




We exist in diaphanous webs of cultural diktats, socio-political events and interpersonal relations. They help shape and define us and ineludibly affect our life experiences. They provide us with a safety net and are accountable for our overall well-being. However, concomitantly, they can also feel oppressive, enforcing obligations, often impeding our personal growth against our own will.


The latest show by Gallery Threshold titled “Bind/Bound” reflects on the role of these intrinsic networks in moulding our memories, identities and ways of thinking. The works included are those of Achia Anzi, Gargi Raina, Hannah Zalis Anzi, Rubaba Haider, Sumakshi Singh, Ruby Chishti and Shanthi Swaroopini.


Among the highlights of the show are two life-size installations by Sumakshi Singh. Known for creating dreamy, ethereal works with thread and needle, here Singh reflects on the feelings of nostalgia and a cycle of completion. Titled “33 Link Road”, these works have drawn inspiration from her maternal grandparents’ house which was the bedrock of constancy and nurturance throughout her childhood. These cobwebby thread-like drawings are a rendition of the main gate of the house which now lies abandoned after her grandparents’ passing. The delicate threads represent the threads that bound all the relations lovingly which now are a distant memory. These wraithlike, spectral forms invite the viewers to ponder on the relevance of any structure after it has completed serving its role.


Untitled (from the series 33 Link Road), Thread drawing, 86 inches x 204.5 inches, 2021


Calender, Thread drawing, 27 inches x 19 inches, 2021


Another thought-provoking work is an installation by Achia Anzi where he focuses on the ambivalence of language as a medium of expression. We often find ourselves in situations where we are unable to find the correct words to convey our thoughts or feelings. There seems to be a chasm between what we want to get across and what we are able to. Language, which is supposedly the path to liberation, can therefore feel restrictive. The Morse code in his installation aptly stresses on this dichotomy. The sentence coded in Morse is both quite evident and yet concealed. The continuous playing of the code in the background gently nudges the viewer to pause and reflect on this concept of dualism of emancipation and 'boundation' which is expressed so precisely here.


Untitled, Sound and Lightbox, 9.5 inches x 12.9 inches, 2021


The compositions of Gargi Raina painstakingly describe the current state of Kashmir. In some of her works titled “Shafa”, there is use of richly embroidered but torn pashmina shawls which are re-stitched and reused to portray the damage and destruction of the fabric of life. The use of concertina wire indicates the excessive militarisation of the state and its impact on the psyche of the citizens. Another compelling work is from the series “Breathless” which depicts breathless, tired lungs but with a cut in the middle. Painted on red cut papers, the cut here has morbid insinuations – it is indicative of the rapes, molestation and terrorist activities that the public has to deal with on a regular basis. The plants inside the lungs have little uprooted stems, they are indicative of the forced migration faced by many people.


Shafa (Making the invisible visible), Velvet, old Hashiya, Razor Concertina wire, needle and thread,

12 inches x 36 inches, 2021


Shafa (Making the invisible visible), Velvet, old Hashiya, Razor Concertina wire, needle and thread,

12 inches x 60 inches, 2021


Breathless (Sky Land Water), Gouache, dry pastel on archival paper, mirror, velvet, rubies, needle and thread, Set of 5 works, 32 inches x 24 inches each, 2021


Across generations and backgrounds the artists use their individual perspectives and experiences to explore the fragility of ties that bind us. The show masterfully manages to emphasize the impact of external oppressive factors through visual mediums that have a deep and lasting impact on our life and relationships.


The exhibition is on view till 20th December 2021 at Gallery Threshold, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi.


More works at the show



(All images are courtesy of the Threshold gallery and the respective artists. All photographs of the display from the gallery courtesy Aakshat Sinha)



 

Poorvi Rajimwalé is originally from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. She holds a Masters in English Literature. She is currently based in Delhi, works as a freelance artist and writes on art.

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