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Curatorial talk with Inside The Gallery Podcast


What Falls from View was the name of the installation by Sangeeta Sandrasegar, which I acquired from Niagara Galleries in Melbourne for the Powerhouse Museum’s collection on the occasion of the Charkha and Kargha exhibition. Made of ten Khadi and silk textiles hand-dyed by the artist in Indian indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) and Australian native cherry (Exocarpos cuppressiformis), “What Falls from View” was installed beautifully in the exhibition with the direct collaboration and consultation of the curator and the artist. Expanding upon concepts of what is seen and unseen and designed to perform with light and shadow, the installation immersed the viewer in a transient space where boundaries are shifted and the internal and external are intertwined.

Artist: Sangeeta Sandrasegar

Title: What falls from view
Year: 2019
Dimensions: each approximately 520 x 90cm
Medium: hand-dyed khadi and silk, in Indian Indigo and Australian Native Cherry

Sangeera Sandrasegar: This was the first artwork completed under my current studio practice and research praxis into legacies of colour manufacture through a post-colonial lens. It is grounded by two colours. Indian indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) burdens the beauty of the hue with the weight of slave labour and disenfranchisement — it was on behalf of Bihari indigo workers that Mahatma Gandhi first engaged in political action. Australian native cherry (Exocarpos cuppressiformis), known in Woiwurrung as bali, was documented by the earliest European colonisers who noted Aboriginal people used the tree for its sweet fruit and wood. The two colours combine to make varying hues of green, and as such begin to echo ways of seeing and expand upon concepts of what is seen and unseen. Between the transparency of the silk and weft of the khadi the colours shift and so too do the spaces in which they hang — creating a transient space where boundaries are intertwined. What Falls from View is the starting point of what I consider a long exploration into the science, technologies and stories that reside within the Australian post-colonial palette.

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