Contemporary artist Swapnaa Tamhane brings together layered fabric compositions that challenge traditional hierarchies between art and craft in the exhibition Swapnaa Tamhane: Mobile Palace, organized by ROM.
Bold and immersive, Tamhane’s first solo museum exhibition features three large, cotton cloth installations created from long lengths of printed and embroidered fabric. Drawing on India’s rich textile history and inspired by Mughal and Ottoman tents used as mobile palaces, these tent-like forms are re-imagined. The artist’s materials invoke the legacy of cotton in India as a form of colonial resistance and visitors are encouraged to experience the rich, sweeping flows of fabric from different vantages, to better explore and appreciate the artistic vision.
Tamhane worked in a collaborative creative process with artists based in Gujarat, India, including dyer and printer Salemamad Khatri, wood block carver Mukesh Prajapati, and the Qasab-Kutch Craftswomen embroidery collective. Designing motifs, appliqué and beading to create punctuated interruptions in the repetition of patterns, the artist asks us to consider the spaces in-between.
Beautiful and relevant, the exhibition’s visual depth, contemporary narrative lens, and immersive environment provide a powerful experience for sight and mind.
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On view through August 1, 2022
Contemporary artist Swapnaa Tamhane brings together layered fabric compositions that challenge traditional hierarchies between art and craft in this exhibition, organized by ROM. Included with General Admission.
Encompassing over 5,000 years, ROM’s South Asian collection is one of the foremost in the Western world.
Image: Swapnaa Tamhane, with Salemamad Khatri, and Mukesh, Pragnesh, and Avdhesh Prajapati, and Bhavesh Rajnikant. Assistance from Sine Kundargi-Girard and Lydia Haywood-Munn. Detail of panel from Mobile Palace, 2019–2021. Natural dyes, appliqué, and beading on cotton, each panel 39.4 in x 275.6 in (100 x 700 cm). Image © Royal Ontario Museum. Used with permission of the artist.