‘Reliever’ by Piyali Sadhukhan
Nepali handmade paper, canvas, cotton fabric, bangles, acrylic paint
“It was much easier to explain the veil than to answer questions about the wounds.”
― @pawwyymishra, Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy
Every time a female artist talks about the wounds, bruises and the Violence Against Women, a voice is raised for all the victims and survivors out there. Piyali Sadhukhan’s works, though look impressive at first glance, reveal the dark reality more often than not vicious to women. Her oeuvre is a chronicle of the enduring violence against the female body and mind tracing its past in the practice of ‘Sati’ in the 19th century to today’s incidents of Domestic Violence, sexual assault and all the acts of inequality and disgrace that entail a woman’s every day existence.
Piyali incorporates household objects in her painstakingly knitted crochet and works on paper. The broken red bangles, a reminder of the miserable practice for the widows to erase the trace of their marital life, often appeared in her works as part of the intricate motifs, concealing their razor-sharp edges. ‘Reliever’, resembling a Kashmiri carpet and bearing several cavities on its body and a torn edge, becomes a metaphor of women’s body.
An alumnus of kalabhavana, santiniketan, Piyali has an experience of associating with more than 85 theatre productions as an Artistic Director and scenographer. Her recent solo show ‘Seeing is (not) Believing’ (2019) at Akar Prakar Contemporary, Delhi received much acclaim. Some of her major engagements are 35th anniversary celebration show at Gorki Sadan, Kolkata (2009), ‘Urban Narratives’ at Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo (2013), and ‘Boithakkhana Project’, an initiative by Khoj Kolkata (2014).
Nov 25 is marked as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by UN and this year’s theme is ‘Orange The World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape’. Desee Art joins this battle. Look forward to hearing from you.
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Artist image courtesy: Piyali Sadhukhan via Facebook