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Triptych 2 Pepper
ink on photographic paper
“Seeds For An Uncertain Future”
This series was developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The sudden unplanned lockdown, with 4 hours notice, announced by the Indian Government in March 2020, disrupted food supply chains across India. While certain State governments managed a coordinated response and were able to distribute rations and cooked food through distribution centres for the poor, a larger number of migrant workers, working in the metros, fled on foot to their villages walking hundreds of kilometers and some died of starvation and heat exhaustion along the way. Crops rotted as agricultural migrant labour was unavailable to harvest them and whilst NGOs and citizens rallied to help and continue to do what they can it is essentially the government's role to provide welfare to the most vulnerable.
I, though far more privileged than the migrants, started to imagine the worst. Frantically emptying my spice box, saving seeds from fresh fruit and vegetables and trying to grow what I could in my garden. Collecting, labeling seeds from seasonal ornamental plants for the winter to come. Though with the downturn in the economy and the collapse of the art market, would I be able to afford the rent by next winter? Would the seeds I stored, sowed ever germinate and make it to maturity and yield fruit? Would the erratic climate a thing of our own making be kind to these seeds? I wondered as I labeled and stored the seeds and peered every morning in the pots I sowed seeds in, while I watered them. The seeds hold the hope of life and surviving and they were the only things I carry as I tread into the uncertain future.
The artworks are a documentation of edible and ornamental plant seeds and the process of storing and sowing. They are symbolic of my hope for the future for the grand dreams we all have for the future.
The paintings are made on over exposed photographic paper from the 1970's from Bombay, which I have been carrying in my folio for a while. This seemed an apt time to use them, as they were dormant blank surfaces recycled from the past and brought to life in an uncertain future.