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Reading Runes

Gada experiences his own existential crisis as to his purpose in life as an artist and whether or not he would have been better off pursuing an engineering career that his parents attempted to push him into. He searches for clues in the way forward, recognising the human agony that each path chosen is another ignored and every decision, however minor, will have consequences for the future. As his indecision mounts, he is paralysed into stasis without access to his studio and workshop. He turns towards soothsaying and tarot card reading in a desperate attempt to see what the future holds. On his walks in the forest this translates into attempting to read runes, seed pods of theVilayatiKikar (Prosopis juliflora) treealong with discarded playing cards shed on the ground, as to which direction he should take. The works entitled “Reading Runes” [Media: patinated and electroplated aluminium on synthetic and natural wool tapestries] capture the stress of having to make multiple decisions on a daily basis that can and will impact upon the future of his life. The huge panels commissioned and woven by artisans in Rajasthan are then appliquéd by the artist with a range of organic and synthetic wool are then dyed and distressed to represent the debris found on the paths of the forest floor. Hand stitched onto the panels are the golden autumnal seed pods that the artist attempts to read in his depressed state, like tea leaves or coffee grinds at the bottom of a cup, looking for signs of hope. The power of the work comes from the artists realisation that the pods were positioned randomly by nature, not by him, so he contemplates whether a divine power or guardian angel is trying to convey meaning through an abstract pattern. The viewer is invited to interpret their own message in the hieroglyphics of the seed pods and which path they themselves will choose.

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