This series is autobiographical in nature. Artist Reena Kallat expresses, “My relationship with my mother, who I lost when I was 8 years of age, has been built around the objects she left behind; those sewn by her, stuffed toys she made me, photo-albums, her personal books, stories narrated to me by other family members, besides my own faint recollections. I’ve spent a good part of my childhood going through my mother’s personal belongings such as her sarees, cosmetics, bags, sometimes bringing them out of closed cupboards to look at, while at other times trying them on myself.” The associations with motherhood are carried through the symbolic usage of the saree and the recipes from her mother’s books extend it further by evoking notions of nurturing and nourishing. The sarees, while beautiful, remain illegible. The dotted patterns forming the script in braille disallow easy access to the content of the text, much like Kallat’s relationship with her mother that is built on fragments of inscrutable memory.

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.


  • Title: Walls of the Womb; detail
  • Creator: Reena Saini Kallat
  • Date Created: 2007
  • Location: Special Projects Space
  • Type: Installation
  • Material: Tied-and-dyed silk, brass, bonded marble, handwritten recipe books

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