“Excursions and Returns: Meditations on Making, and the Maker” by Shamina Senaratne
Exhibit Dates: April 1 – 30, 2017
“Meet the artist” Reception, Saturday, April 1, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Even if we don’t make things, we make our world views, make our selves and our communities, assemble and polish our identities, make meaning and create relationships, knit and weave and stitch our worlds together in the gathering of our layered experiences and interpretations.
We seek histories and geography to root ourselves, guard memories and points of view, identify with tribes and communities, take solitary walks to hear ourselves think. These works are a collection of reflections and intuitions on the path to wholeness, peace, and inhabiting a world that supports the evolution of a wisdom-based culture. For each series or installation, interacting with the intrinsic nature of the chosen materials, inspired the works.
Interpreting the Shadows and the Light, composed of hand-cut layered sheer silks and cottons, uses a language inspired by the intricate pierced marble Jali screens found in Mughal architecture to offer concurrent narratives about paths to peace that can be read from present-day secular, Buddhist or Sufi/Muslim perspectives.
Drawing wool tapestry yarn through invisible and incongruently delicate tulle, a word at a time was, necessarily extremely slow and created the opportunity for me to meditate on and generate each word’s state of being within me as it was being made. The result is an artifact from an imaginary fable brought to life, that gave me hope as it reminded me of playfulness, wonder and timeless solutions to bigotry and conflict as we shape our civil society. And though the carpet maker didn’t say, he now saw the world in a different way… (Installation).
Blanket Theory I could not be made of anything else but a piece of moth damaged red wool, and however unsophisticated it appears, it felt to me that it’s proposed message is divine and universally useful, gaining sophistication and complexity the more broadly it is applied.
Finally, the Fragment Series began with pieces of torn cotton cheesecloth and attempts to capture something of the experience of fading memory and the nature of meaning-making in general, of our capacity to make story and narrative even when the clues and contexts are meager and we have only a few elements we can activate. When, with fewer elements to work with or less detail, we still find connection, story, and can fill in the blanks with “logical” supposing to create meaning. Is this imagining into the blank spaces any less you as you create a meaningful present unknowing of previous selves and expectations? Meaning making, memory, memory loss, loss, selfhood, loss of self, humanity, identity, essential nature, life lived and experienced regardless of language, ability to sort, categorize, order and string together. In particular these points of exploration expand as I have considered the nature of short-term, working and long-term memory loss, and accompanied friends and a family member with advancing dementia or Alzheimer’s.