The works by Paula Sengupta evoke histories of partition and the resulting displacement of people and livelihoods. Fabric, garments, embroideries, trunks and other personal memorabilia have been put together in cabinets, resembling the vitrines existing in the Museum. The objects displayed together speak of how cultures transcend national boundaries, and how a mass displacement of people leaves behind residual memories and traditions carried across borders. This is most vividly represented through clothes and personal collections passed down through generations. The cabinets further evoke the layered history of the objects and the making of a personal archive/museum.
Rivers of Blood is the visual rendering of a diary that the artist wrote documenting her travels through Bangladesh. It is the story of countless families displaced by the Partition, perhaps the single most significant event in the history of the Indian Subcontinent.
The works were 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.