2017 | SONAL MITHAL
CURATOR: METEOR INTERNATIONAL
ART EXCHANGE BETWEEN HOWRAH AND MALMO
24”x 24” mixed media on cement board [epoxy, cement primer, jute hemp, pigments]
These illustrations represent—and are developed through—TENSION, as a sustained companion of RESISTANCE.
The jute industry scenario in Bengal is a manifestation of conflicting spaces that are a result of tension and resistance simultaneously existing in the Howrah city. Jute itself is bio-degradable, environment friendly. Yet, the industry accords an ecological and economic imbalance to the city. Yet, it is a necessity to sustain livelihood, and to provide material for packaging, construction, and more recently to clothing. It sustains rich agriculture, yet itself is marred by outmoded technology, high competition from synthetic products, and non diversification. These are some of the narratives that belong to the under-belly of the jute industry. In this context, tension emerges as a result of a tug of war between the city infrastructure and the industry. Resistance emerges when the city acquires its own agency to retain its ecological stability. This series represents tension and resistance through materiality. Jute hemp/fiber acquires maximum strength under tension. Epoxy has high resistance to movement—it being extremely viscous. The tensile nature of jute and viscous nature of epoxy restrict the movement of color representing a condition of resistance in industrial sector and a resilience to survive the violent competition.
This project is a story of a constant negotiation between survival and displacement, deniability and assertion, erasure and resistance. It is a narrative of dis-balance that lies between the taut thread under tension and a liquid color resisting through viscosity.