THE RAFT

SHIVANJANI LAL

7 JUNE - 23 JUNE

Exploring her own history of migration, Shivanjani Lal has formed the immersive exhibition,The Raft. Using sculpture, sound and video, the exhibition bridges time, lands, cultures and generations.

 

Objects and images are placed around the floor covered with paper and haldi (turmeric). Interwoven voices of conversation and narrated story fill the space with sound and skyscapes are projected onto the gallery’s wall, transforming the space into a physical interpretation of the artist’s genealogical and personal passage from India, to Fiji, and finally to Australia. The exhibition draws attention to global  migration, recalling media images of people treacherously travelling between lands. Unlike many circulated stories about the topic, The Raft presents a personal and contemplative perspective on migration. Lal’s gesture of sharing her story, is a reminder that migration that it is not an occurrence that every immigrant or refugee encounters in the same way. Counteracting the generalised reports on migration with an individual and intimate response.

 

Shivanjani Lal is a twice removed Fijian Indian Australian artist and curator. Her history is shaped by the Kala Pani [Black Waters]. She is from the indentured labour diaspora of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. She works across mediums to explore her dislocation that seeks to account for memory, erasure, healing, and the archive.

 

Her current research posits that her body and the landscapes she is from hold the grief of being removed. In her works, she is attempting to document and create gestures of healing to document the ghosts of her ancestors and account for their silences through gestures which a tone and account for our grief.

 

Critically, she seeks to identify where healing begins: in the body, in the land or does it begin in the Kala Pani [Black Waters]?

A place that can potentially both hold, and heal.

Her work is for the women in her family.

MEANWHILE

LEVEL 2, 99 WILLIS STREET 

TE ARO, TE WHANGANUI-A-TARA 

WELLINGTON