What The Tide Brought In: An embroidered data visualisation
The project began as an exploration of embroidery as a medium to express data. Stitches can be units that are counted down, making them ideal to show numbers. The metaphors of cloth and thread melding together made me think of plastics in the ocean.
I chose kantha embroidery on organza as a way of depicting the plastic waste that was collected along 10 km of beach in three countries during beach cleanup days, as per the Ocean Conservancy Report, 2019.
Organza, because it reminded me of both plastic and water. Kantha, because the running stitch dips in and out of the cloth, playing with its translucence and because it can be twisted into all manner of aquatic-inspired shapes.
Foot of Bhalunath
Date: c.a. 400-200 BCE
Culture: Central Indian
Region: Chamba (India)
Technique: Coiling and slab
Bears were once worshipped and raised by the tribal community of Mandadiya in the hills of Chamba (present-day Uttarakhand). Bhalunath is believed to have been the pet bear of Uttam, the erstwhile Mandadiya chief.
The bearclaw was probably once placed on a ledge behind a waterfall as a practical joke upon the unsuspecting.
Tapaknaak Water Jug
Date: ca. 700-900 CE
Region: Madhya Pradesh (India)
Technique: Wheel and slab
Tapaknaak was a mythological demon. He was cursed by the bad-tempered sage Gaurav, whose meditation was disturbed by Tapaknaak's loud sneezes, to have a perpetual cold. This made the demon a figure of fun for the people of central India.
It is said that he could never afterward effectively plunder and loot villages because he was always pausing to blow his nose.
My Eyes are Up Here
Concept for terracotta vase/water vessel
Terracotta water and ink on paper.
Explorations, ideas, and documentation from a visit to the Shreyas Museum in Ahmedabad and the Poshina trip are included in the gallery below.