Ghar was a participatory public art project that dealt with people’s notion of
Home along with the issues of migration, security, belonging and permanency. The idea of the project generated primarily from my engagement with the environment around my neighborhood which was and still is altering in fast pace changing the landscape rapidly along with destruction of of its natural environment and ecology. the project was a way to to negotiate with my own contribution to the process of development and destruction. The project not only posed critical questions around our changing equations with nature.
The project was co-curated by Mohile Parikh Center and Art Oxygen Mumbai. The project was realized in collaborations with Rachana Sansad College of Art and Craft, Thane School of Art, Members of housing societies in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, Students of Local Village school and Workers and owner of Brick Kiln. The duration of the project was over 8 months where more than 500 participants participated in onsite workshop at the brick kiln at Kharghar.
- Migrant Workers and Owner of the brick-kiln
- Local Villagers
- People from different housing societies
- Students of visual art colleges
SITE: Brick-kiln in Kharghar
Primary Workshops | October – December 2011- I interacted with the migrant workers and the owner of the brick-kiln after they resumed work post monsoons. I did several drawing/writing workshops with brick kiln workers and the Owe Camp Zila Parishad School (a local village in Kharghar) and explored with them their notions of Home/Security. In these workshops they drew or wrote on a paper which is the same size of a brick (9”x4”). I also invited neighbours from my own housing society, students from two art collages in Mumbai and the local villagers to create drawings/ writings on the same theme. The writings are in multiple languages.
Final Workshops | January – April 2012-Collating all the work done in the primary workshops, I then made a mould for making bricks which has the Hindi word ‘GHAR’ (Home) inscribed on them. Finally, the participants did their drawings on the raw bricks which have been baked later thus having their drawings or writings permanently on it. The workshops, processes and interviews with the participants have been documented on video and still-photography.
EXHIBITION | April 2012-The baked bricks were arranged to make an installation in the gallery space. I made a seat similar to the tilted seat which is there in the brick kiln site where the workers watch television or rest, and this was placed in front of a video projection. The video projection explored the life and working processes of the migrant workers hence creating a reverse perspective. Here the viewers (the urban dwellers) sat on this seat to look/empathise at the life of the workers and also the documentation of the workshops, thereby initiating interactivity between the spectator and the work.
OUTCOME- At the end of the exhibition, the bricks have been donated to the Owe Camp Zila Parishad School in Kharghar to be part of their building construction for a cultural hall. This will be designed in such a manner that the drawings and writings on the bricks will be permanently on display. In this way, the bricks which have the participatory gestures / notions of a dream home / shelter, will be part of the school which is sheltering the dreams of the future.
Brick kiln- Kharghar, Navi Mumbai India
Owe Camp-District school, Kharghar
Exhibition at StudioX, Mumbai | April 20 – 28, 2012