During the pandemic, as I spent long stretches of time inside the house, I started questioning the idea of home. The pandemic made people rush towards their home, this yearning for home affected different classes differently.
I have been interested in game formats and how they serve the human psyche. So when I started working with homes I naturally drifted towards depiction through gameplay format. I often try to depict my understanding of certain social predicaments and situations in simple ways using elements of daily life. These elements may find a way through to my work in the form of material, method or pigment.
Being at home also played a role in developing my understanding of material and pigment, especially that derived from the immediate surrounding and the significance of material in the context of memory. In most of my works material interplays with memory and content. In ‘Ghar Chaupad' I have used an old mat, rope and scrap yarn. In the other I have made the surface using an old saree and used the pigment ‘geru’ for the work. My objective is to narrate through visuals along with materials.
Title: 'Ghar' chaupad
Medium: Crochet with cotton cloth, yarn, rope and long strips of fabric
Size: 16 in. × 16 in. (Main body of game)
4in.× 4in.× 4in. (Dice)
A predecessor of modern day ludo- ‘chaupad' is a simple game wherein you roll the dice and race to reach home. A folded mat that had ripped from the centre from being kept that way through the lockdown, an old saree, scrap yarn and rope- I used these materials to crochet the game and dice. The material holds memory of time and use and its meaning changes as it transforms from a utilitarian object into a road to home in game terms.
This seemingly simple game becomes confusing when the dice rolls impractical numbers making it virtually impossible for the pawns to move or reach ‘home’. The format of the dice conveys the complexity of social structures along with the stagnancy and helplessness attached to it.
Origami holds certain memories as a craft that I thoroughly enjoyed during my childhood. In this work I have used this game like format to unravel the blueprint of the house that I spent most of the past year in. It explores my questioning of home as a commodity.
The blueprint is marked by certain elements of the house and objects like a trunk and a bag under the bed which I have noticed are common to a lot of students. There are also receipts collected from past transactions. One is made into an origami bird, marking the intersection of a childhood play and a souvenir of daily life now.
Title: Paper house
Medium: Red ochre pigment (geru) on surface made of handmade paper and cotton sare
Size: 2ft x 2.5ft
What are you going to take forward from this make-shift studio practice experience?
Vidhi Jangra, BFA ( Painting ), 3rd Year
"In the past year I have spent time at home and in Santiniketan. I made a home studio in both these places and questioned different surroundings in either of these places. In the future I want to take my practice forward by exploring materiality more and questioning the aspects that interest me."