|Walt Whitman in 'A Noiseless Patient Spider'|
Standing at Pepper House, one of the earliest points of Portuguese spice trade in Kochi, built around 1503, I felt a sense of thrill, not of history, but of standing at a spice warehouse where possibly the wild, seductive, artistic Aurora da Gama might have cast her eyes on the ‘godown duty clerk’, Abraham Zogoiby in Salman Rushdie’s 'The Moor’s Last Sigh'…I imagined the pepper sacks piled high and the spice laden air filled with the fragrances of cardamom, cumin and their ‘hot love’.
|I love the cover.|
That the flamboyant character of Aurora Zogoiby has been linked to the artist Amrita Sher-Gil, (the aunt of artist Vivan Sundaram) who is sometimes known as India’s Frida Kahlo made it all the more moving for me.
|Amrita Sher Gil's 'Three Girls' (Source-Wiki)|
Walking down Aspinwall House, one of the venues of the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2012, where Vivan Sundaram’s installation ‘Black Gold’ is exhibited or musing by the windows at Pepper House, resonating with the connections to Rushdie’s characters was dream-like for me.
|Pic taken by me at the Pepper House|
|wooden floored hall at Pepper House (my pic)|
|laterite walls in the ancient pepper warehouse (my pic)|
|do you hear footfalls echoing on the wooden stairs? (my pic)|
The installation at the Pepper House by Anita Dube involved climbing a narrow ladder into a wooden floored attic echoing with sounds of footfalls, sounds of things beings dragged, a heart rending, inconsolable sobbing playing itself out. It evoked a spine-tingling sense of past…the sounds seemed to evoke the essence of all the numerous souls who may have drifted past that ancient tiled roof, nay, this ancient shore. (Check out the link to hear her speak about the work)
The lovely video installation by Gitanjali Rao was another treat, albeit a wistful one, titled, 'Printed Rainbow', it shows the loneliness in the life of an old woman, an absolutely beautiful tribute to her mother. Gitanjali won three awards at the Cannes 2006, was shortlisted at the Academy Awards 2008, and won 25 other International Awards…well, it is not of her awards that I want to write about, it is the sheer beauty and innocence in each of her frames. The jewel-like colors in the imaginary world her characters, a sweet old lady and her plump cat, step into through the matchbox covers are breathtaking.( I have added her link) Update - I have since found this link to her video...I really feel it is a great short film, please do watch. You can see i t- here.
|From Gitanjali Rao's Printed Rainbow (from the web)|
|from the short film 'Printed Rainbow' (fro the Web)|
Now let me give you a quick peek at the cards I painted and mailed out.
Linking my longer than usual post to PPF, Creative Everyday, Art Journal Everyday, Artists in Blogland
Wishing a good day to all of you!