Fruits of Labour (A Monument to Exhaustion); detail

Rakhi Peswani2013

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
Mumbai, India

Cloth fades, bleeds, stains, tears, and dyes. This work attempts to take such material attributes of textiles and transform them into spatial metaphors, engaging the viewer with cultural narratives seeping from the physicality of the medium of fabric. The rudimentary impression of the work is derived from temporary relief shelters/tents pitched at sites of displacement, construction, migrations, devastations, and various intensities of these situations. Between the larger authorised grand narratives of development and modernity, these mass social ruptures imprint experiences on individual lives. Embracing the viewer within the space of the museum, the work opens up an experiential realm with this deeply personal, excruciatingly visceral, private yet public space. The phenomenological experience of architecture within architecture attempts to create a double layering, a retelling of a well-told tale.

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: Fruits of Labour (A Monument to Exhaustion); detail
  • Creator: Rakhi Peswani
  • Date Created: 2013
  • Location: Kamalnayan Bajaj Gallery
  • Type: Installation
  • Material: Dyed, organically treated and torn muslin, hand-built quilted cotton fabric, found, used, and discarded cloths, basic labour tools, poly-cotton filling, found, and edited sound

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