CHARKHA AND KARGHA EXHIBITION
(13 August 2022 - 15 January 2023)
Charkha and Kargha: Indian Textiles from the Powerhouse Collection should be considered one of the first multifaceted exhibitions of the Powerhouse Museum which was curated with the help of contemporary interdisciplinary curatorial strategies focusing on Indian textiles and their techniques of production since the 1800s. The exhibition coincided with the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence, and for this reason I worked closely with the Consulate General of India in Sydney, and the Ministry of Textiles and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India.
I designed the curatorial aspects of the exhibition in such a way that visitors could connect the past to the present, and go beyond the materiality and aesthetic of Indian textiles and learn more about the traditional and modern techniques of textile production including spinning, weaving, dyeing and hand printing. With regards to this, I worked closely with researchers from the University of New South Wales, and included some of their contemporary documentary clips in the exhibition sections to help visitors to learn about related techniques, tools used and accessories which were also showcased in the exhibition. I used these modern clips in the exhibition as sensory supports in which the sounds of techniques of textile production were also considered as intangible entities of the exhibition. As part of my curatorial strategies to engage Indian migrant communities, I also worked closely with Sangeeta Sandrasegar and Anu Kumar, two contemporary Australian artists.
I also facilitated the visit of three traditional master weavers from Varanasi, Hyderabad, and Gujarat. During the opening event and subsequent public programs they demonstrated live weaving sessions and ran traditional masterclasses on spinning, weaving and dyeing.
Curatorial talk with Inside The Gallery Podcast
Charkha and Kargha was presented by Powerhouse with the support of the Consulate General of India, Sydney. My sincere thanks goes to Dr. Chaitanya Sambrani (Australian National University) for his support as curatorial advisor.