SUNDARI JAL // IMAGINE ASIA // ASIA NEW ZELAND FOUNDATION 20th ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION // PATAKA // 2015
Sundari Jal focuses on the life-giving force of Mother Earth /Papatuanuku, initially rendered in a 4 -month process to honour the monsoon season in Nepal - 2014. The social practice aspect of the project focuses on the relationships between the wellbeing of the land and her people initiating participation through water and prayer collection for the New Zealand iteration of the site specific installation-based work.
Incorporating the medium of bells, ribbons, water, milk and earth, materials rich in the tradition of daily practice and referencing the ceremonies and rituals deeply embedded in the Indic tradition. The artwork aims to ask the questions how might urban agriculture intervene on individualised and commodified understandings of nature?
The repetition of the Medicine Buddha Mantra and collected waters paired with sacred materials explores the revival of organic agriculture and clean water as a stimulant for wholesome respect for the traditional cultural knowledge of minority groups and Europeans alike. As the global demand for clean food and water comes critical the need to reestablish our sociological and spiritual relationships with the land becomes paramount. By drawing on ancient methods rooted in agrarian practice and ceremonially grounded in the relationship between the four elements and all sentient beings the altar that is the work of art, aims to deepen our understanding to being a part of a greater whole. Becoming active through the constant gathering of earth, water, milk, wild flowers and herbs as an offering, to generate a dialogue addressing the geopolitics associated to water as a vital resource that ultimately defines our wellbeing.
By reworking the installation within a New Zealand context, one that is culturally diverse, promotes not only an ancestral memory of ecology, cultural integrity and strategic political advocacy but also brings awareness of natural practice to empower and promote healthy ecologies through food, natural medicines and environmentally supportive ways of life.