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Its feet were tied, with a silken thread of my own hands weaving

Sangeeta Sandrasegar2010

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

This diaphanous installation, a series of suspended opalescent organza panels by the Melbourne-based artist Sangeeta Sandrasegar, is emblematic of the artist's preoccupation with the challenges of cultural difference in the context of diaspora. On close inspection, some of the panels reveal depictions of Australian floral motifs rendered in delicate embroidery. The flowers adorn dimly traced feet in the manner of henna decoration of hands and feet of women on the subcontinent. The feet and legs float in mid-air, adrift from the rest of the body which is absent. On other panels the outlines of Australian trees can be seen; and on one, the ripples of sand and sea. The artist has commented that for her, the panels 'evoke the colours of this country... [in] the ghost-like softness of certain hours...'. In Sandrasegar's work, the juxtaposition of materials and techniques associated with traditional female pursuits, together with the ambivalence implied by the title, results in a poetic reflection on place and the vulnerabilities that can be experienced by women in an age of increased global migration. The title is taken from a poem by the English Romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821). The artist also drew inspiration from the William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) poem 'Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven', published in 1899 in Yates' third volume of poetry, 'The Wind Among the Reeds': "Had I the heavens? embroidered cloths, / Enwrought with golden and silver light, / The blue and the dim and the dark cloths / Of night and light and the half light, / I would spread the cloths under your feet: / But I, being poor, have only my dreams; / I have spread my dreams under your feet; / Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

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Details

  • Title: Its feet were tied, with a silken thread of my own hands weaving
  • Creator: Sangeeta Sandrasegar
  • Date Created: 2010
  • Physical Dimensions: w100 x h150 cm
  • Type: Installation
  • Rights: Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, and Bernard Shafer in memory of Anna Shafer, 2010. Image courtesy the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne, copyright the artist., Museum of Contemporary Art, purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, and Bernard Shafer in memory of Anna Shafer, 2010 Image courtesy the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne copyright the artist
  • External Link: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
  • Medium: nylon organza, cotton thread, glass beads. 8 panels, each 150 x 100 cm

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