Sancintya Mohini Simpson & Isha Ram Das, Vessels, 2020
Sound installation with clay lotas, soil, ash, ultrasonic distance sensors, speakers, variable dimensions.
Sancintya Mohini Simpson, And words were whispered, 2019-2020
Watercolour and gouache on handmade wasli paper, 88x63cm.
Vessels (2020) is an interactive sound installation developed by siblings Sancintya Mohini Simpson and Isha Ram Das which reframes colonial histories and perspectives on Indian indenture in the colony of Natal (now KwaZulu–Natal, South Africa) through experimental sound. And words are whispered (2019-2020) acknowledges the history and experiences of women taken from India to South Africa as indentured labourers during the late 1800’s and throughout the early 1900’s. Simpson reframes the ownership of this history and pays tribute to the ghosts of forgotten women who were sent out across those dark waters. Traditionally Indian miniature painting within South Asia focuses on privileged persons both in terms of gender, caste, class and colourism. Simpson’s use the style of Indian miniature painting centres casteless Coolie women bringing their history onto the page and allowing their history to be accounted for.‘And words are whispered’ continues this investigation by erasing all traces of environments. In this act audiences are critically asked to think about these women, and where their place exists in the archive? In centering these stories Simpson asks the archive to account for her family’s history.
Vessels (2020) was supported through Metro Arts 2020 Artist-In-Residence at Norman Park Substation. And words are whispered (2019-2020) was produced during residence at 1Shanthiroad Studio/Gallery and was supported through Asialink Arts 2019 Creative Exchange and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.