Down Under

Sheela Gowda


Sculpture, 184 x 125 x 8 cm.
Materials: textile

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. M00132).

The work Down Under, 2009 presents several objects lying on the floor. They look like colourful duvets. The artist had bought them from poor women craft tailors, who had been making them to make a living, more than 30 years ago. The women, in turn, were using patchwork techniques to sew together fabric remnants or used fabric materials they had found elsewhere. Some of the fabrics resemble mourning patterns, and some are reminiscent of peaceful landscapes. The red water pipe grounding the textile introduces a feeling of disturbance, of a violent intervention to the naive and innocent appearance of the handmade installation. Nevertheless, the textile object remains the first colourful spot catching the visitors’ eye, a centre of attention, resisting the violence of the industrial object. This work shows the importance of collecting important things, the artefacts, with the aim of researching, saving, protecting, preserving, and rethinking one's own culture.  

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