Monday, December 05, 2016












Unexpected Blue


These photographs feature encounters  in a South Indian village and are part of the created poetic narrative with the indigo-blue fabrics.  These continue to be produced through the same processes as during the VOC (East India Company Trade) period, using natural indigo. Within the process the different tones of blue are created when dyeing the fabrics in big fermentation pots containing natural indigo.
The fermentation is a sour smell and the pots are buried underground with only the head of the pot sticking out leaving a round gap that opens up like a mouth. The pots are to be fed with food cooked upon the fire. The pouring of liquids, the collection of ash and water,the cleansing and bleaching, including boiling of the yarn and fabric are sounds that accompany the visual material.  .One can listen to fragments of sounds as a part of these scenes, creating ‘unexpected moments.’
On exploring new materials such as yarn first seen lying in the pots, they appear as dark blue creatures. Later dried in the sun and covering my body while I sit beside the indigo stained water. The blue threads layers themselves like strings of seaweed, hiding my face.  The landscape with the burned palm tree’s created a potential situation for the staging of an intervention, in which I wrapped the soft fabrics showing prints of tropical palms around the black burned palms.  Who were the personas and figures from the archives and could they be symbolized by the shapes of bodies hidden by the same material?  The story of the workers at the village and factory The Colours of Nature is something that left me with unanswered questions. The history of the place remains mysterious. New machines and technology where left untouched. The old method of the pots buried underground and natural indigo was where the workers often resided and dyed the cloth by dipping it in and out of the pots in the heat and September’s moisture in this South Indian village Auroville.