Making Space:Sensing Place

In October 2009, along with artist Thurle Wright, I was awarded a Making Space:Sensing Place Fellowship; part of the HAT: Here and There International Exchange Programme, managed by A Fine Line:Cultural Practice. The Fellowship includes residencies with Britto Arts in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with Arts Reverie in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, with The V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London and with The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire. Working and collaborating with artists and craftspeople from the UK, Bangladesh and India, responding to the collections and spaces we encounter and sharing these experiences through a touring exhibition and educational workshops.

This blog, which is still developing and being added to, is a record of my experiences during the MS:SP Fellowship. Steven Follen.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Taruns house

We went on to meet Tarun and the director for education at the national museum, we had another lightening tour.Then went to Taruns house, to meet his wife and son for dinner. Tarun has a wonderful collection of toys and artefacts in all manner of materials.

One of the most stunning pieces was a small head approx' 15cm high, carved from chola - a soft wood - similar to Balsa but with a much shorter grain.
Outside his house were Alpana type paintings - decorative designs place at the entrance points to houses, made during festivals. Traditionally these would have been made using rice flour or flowers.
In the evening Thurle and I made presentations of our work to artists from Britto, the Bangladesh Foreign minister and the director of the German Cultural Centre. You can see images of the event on Owens Picasa Album here
Mabub and Lipi wore the Hindu wedding hats I had brought today in Old Dhaka and pretended to get married on a mountain (in front of a film of Ladakh).
In conversation I learn a story behing the stitched boats from Kerela.... apparently the boaat men believed there were Sirens along the Malabar coast and they would sing their song to draw the fishermen to their death. Their song was said to have such a strong pull that it could draw the nails out of the wood of the boats, hence why they stitched their boats together, rather than use nails.