Shadow Film Series

Installed at the CA & D Work in Progress Exhibition, Lower Gulbenkian Gallery (RCA), 2010

This is the first of larger series of works I am developing where I work with thread, fabric and film. In my dissertation, I had looked at narrative textiles from India and proposed a manner in which they could be translated to film. The conclusion of my writing was that the filmic image could be tactile and sensual. In addition, I found there was a strong resonance between the mediums of textile and film itself. Words move and shift between them; thread, weave, knot. As a result of my research I have been developing a series of moving image pieces called the “Shadow film series” in which I film fabric in several ways. “Absence/Presence” is the first of these works.

Inspired by my childhood memories of clothes being dried in the sun, the films focus on brightly coloured pieces of fabric that dance and weave in the wind as the day moves on.In homes in India, the act of the washing of clothes is a largely female practice that is primarily done by hand. The clothes and materials themselves are transformed through the process; soaked in buckets, twisted and wrung dry, till finally they are spread and hung out on lines. In this process they loose their identity only to regain it, as the sun dries the water from the weave of the cloth. As with all domestic female practices, the space of the balcony and the terrace becomes a space for confidences; for sharing memories and knowledge.

If we look carefully enough, what will we find here? What will these spaces and shadows whisper to us? What can these fabrics tell us about their wearers? For, a shadow cannot exist with that which casts it. However, while it is also dependent on its source for its shape and form, a shadow also has a life of its own. And in this way, even as it is revealed, it is also able to reveal.Which comes first then? What is the object? What is the subject? Where does one end and the other begin?