Ignition is a combine of drawings on diverse textiles stitched into one panel; inspired by European medieval flags, traditional patchwork quilts and the American artist Robert Rauschenberg. The works Ignition and Beehive are evocative of upholsteries used in household spaces, here displayed centrally on the walls of the grand staircase, the works lay bare the tensions between personal, political and collective histories and events.
In Anju Dodiya’s recent work, mourning the burning of books and clinging to them as a mark of civilisation has been a recurring image. Witness to a violent disregard of knowledge, these images of unease are consciously painted on upholstery fabrics, generally used in comfortable domestic spaces. Unbleached cotton or madarpatthat generally provides the lining of furniture, becomes the ground for flame and ash in this work. The fire clouds of the red Indonesian batik fabric serve as a backdrop to this theatre of despair.
The work was featured as part of the exhibition 'Connecting Threads: Textiles in Contemporary Practice'. The exhibition was curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta and Puja Vaish and attempts to trace textile practices, traditions and histories in Contemporary Indian Art.