You are invited to come on a journey...

During this journey I travelled to parts of Australia, India and Pakistan taking small steps and large. I carried materials, responding to different communities, cultures and environments I encountered through painting. I filmed in many of the places I visited, and recorded sounds and interviews. The Australindopak Archive is the outcome of this journey.

Canberra and other ideas

The first part of the journey takes place in Canberra, where I have come from Pakistan to begin my PhD. This scroll is around 300 cm long, and diarises my experiences of walking around the central areas of Canberra and the periphery of its lake. It is an exploration of my sense of alienation in the city I once knew as home, and of feeling lost between cultures.

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Australind

The second scroll is 10.2 meters long. The story begins in an idyllic part of Queensland known as Hunchy. From Hunchy, I fly to New Delhi in India. I base myself in Gurgaon, and revisit Baroda, the city of my alma mater. I then head east to Bengal, where I divide my time between Kolkata, Santiniketan and Naya. After five months in Bengal, I set off toward Pakistan, stopping by at Kanpur and Delhi before crossing the border.

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Indopak

In Pakistan, I begin a third scroll, taking it with me around Lahore and to north west Pakistan. Time flies, and at the end of six months Indopak is nearly full. I leave Lahore for Delhi intending to return to Australia, but an unexpected delay keeps me in India for two months more. The scroll is 10.5 meters long. By the time I return to Australia I have been away 16 months.

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About the Archive

The Australindopak Archive has been developed using a virtual tour software, and brings together digitised scrolls, observational films, and sound compositions. These works comprise a major part of the research project Towards a Peripatetic Practice, and were developed from sketches, footage and sound gathered while traveling. Click here to watch a film of the exhibition. 

  • Scrolls

    Each scroll utilised 250 gsm water colour paper measuring 20 cm from the top to bottom, cut to varying lengths. Paintings in the scrolls employ pencil, watercolour and collage, and the marbling that enfolds the paintings was created through a technique employing oil paint and water.

  • Films

    All the films were shot in places where I stayed and made paintings. Their purpose has been to document this peripatetic practice and to record some of the people who shared their stories with me. The films range from one minute to 60 minutes in length.

  • Sounds

    Sound compositions were created from found sound and environmental recordings including interviews and conversations with people who inspired paintings.

  • Virtual Tour

    The virtual tour allows the scrolls to be viewed as continuous panoramas on digital displays, and brings them together with films and sounds through hotspots in an interactive web page.

About the artist

I began making scrolls in 2008 while studying Indian miniature painting during my Masters degree in fine arts at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. I first encountered artists using scrolls when I met practitioners of Patuya Sangit (scroll performance) who had come from West Bengal to present their work in the faculty gallery. When I began travelling from India to Pakistan to study the Persian style of miniature painting, I found the portable, light scroll a convenient way to keep working.

Since that time I have been making scrolls to log the journeys I have been making between the three countries of Australia, India, and Pakistan. I find the scroll a resonant as well as practical peripatetic format, as it conveys ideas about ancient forms of human knowledge transferal, and connotations of the book - but one that is conducive to stream of thought image-making through its unfolding, non-paginated space.

The Australindopak Archive is the most recent work to come out of my nomadic painting practice.

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