LAND 2020 furthers Rewati Shahani’s study of place and nationhood – subjects that have come to the fore in both India and the UK, where Rewati lives with her family.
These are examined with Shahani’s characteristic attention to detail and innovative approach to artistic medium. The result brings beauty to challenging topics – not least in hand-drawn maps that breathe life into some of the world’s most contentious border regions, from Northern Ireland to Palestine.
Elsewhere, Shahani pushes photographic materials to their limits to explore the duality of the immigrant experience. By painting in miniature on 4 x 6” negatives, she uses the inversion of the photographic process to upend notions of race and superiority, as black faces become white, white faces black.
Ceramic sculptures make use of more tactile materials, inspired by the symbolism and topography of Rajasthan’s desert border with Sindh – across which Shahani’s family travelled after Partition. Each deftly marries up texture and form, as fired clay gives way to delicate, curving lines that recall natural veins in the earth’s crust so far below, and so indifferent to, the man-made borders above.