Of Place and Places opens on the 30th of March 2016 and marks Omani-Indian artist Radhika Khimji’s second solo show at Gallery Sarah in Muscat.
Full press release below:
This exhibition brings together Khimji’s photographic collages and sculptural works in order to elaborate on her ongoing research into place and places. The notion of place and places, in their singular and plural form, brings to mind, points in space – for Khimji, a compass. A place acts as the stationary centre, around which the needle of the compass moves, circulating several places as they turn. One can belong to a place and many places simultaneously, roots can multiply and we as individuals are composed of many parts. To be of both place and places is to be a kaleidoscope, a jigsaw, a mosaic, a broken mirror.
One of the aspects of her artistic practice is the search for landscape as a site for her sculptures to belong within. Yet, there is a jarring impossibility of the two ever meeting here, as the collages remain on the gallery walls while Khimji’s sculptures live in space: both are different and therefore negotiate space differently. Sculptures perform different gestures and are tied together by wool incorporating wooden backgrounds as supports. This particular body of sculptural work brings to attention gesture and how the body performs in space.
The photo collages form the beginning of a new series entitled Across the Tropic of Cancer, based on research into the Kutchi communities of Oman , the place in India where the artists ancestors come from, their heritage and how they first they arrived to Oman. In Of Place and Places the artist has used images of abandoned houses in Kutch as well as street scenes in Muscat in order to explore resonances and similarities between the two places. There is a sense of lacking, of absence, in both sites, and an emptiness that is in direct contrast to the sculptures present in such close proximity within the same space.