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PAST WORK 2014 -2016

What HER: Within and Without is a two-year collaboration between ceramic artist Ruby Jhunjhunwala and lens based artist Shraddha Borawake. The collaboration brings together Ruby’s 40 years’ experience with the elements of clay, earth and fire and Shraddha’s 15 years work in photography, image and representation. What started as a fun project soon evolved into a collaborative large-scale mixed media installation in 2015. What The works range from large ceramic installation of porcelain and stoneware needles to large photographs of the main muse - the woman and her blanket with corresponding ceramic forms [How this relation works? What is the corresponding ceramic form?]. Ranging from pure black and white imagery to digitally rendered decollage processes of photography, along with forms of ceramic slabs with image transfers, abstract renditions of photographs printed on fabric and then embroidered. Seamlessly flowing between the various artistic strategic mediums, this work shares objects created through an unhindered flow of equal authorship in this feminine confluence. HOW The journey started with eight discarded photographs from Shraddha’s archives, taken at Dahegaon, Ahmednagar District, Maharashtra. The images had a strong focus on rural life, its textures, colors and other such cultural caches that inspired expansion beyond their discarded existence. Ruby interacted with these images to slowly render them in her ceramic language along with her team at Adipa studio in Tara Baug, Pune. Ruby says “I loved the strong rani pink color (a very Indian color). I also instantly saw how the pattern of rural background would translate in clay and fire. This gave life to the inceptive ceramics, which were a simple replica of the image.”

The goal was to find out where the two mediums would meet and how they would co-exist within a frame through a gradual progress in materiality. The photographic series expressed the female subject’s hidden identity which emerged from behind the veil of the godhadi being dusted. Ruby, meanwhile focused on emulating the gentle flow of the fabric and challenging the plasticity of clay. Somewhere along the process they started thinking beyond the mediums of clay and photographic prints; WOMEN in the pictures became the focus.

WHY & Scene This collaboration was an important gesture within the context of the vacuum of opportunities and avenues for small unknown artists from second tier cities, within the realm of the Indian art scene. Thus, in the spirit of artist led life of action. For Shraddha; collaborating with a senior artist, eradicating temporal hierarchies, disrupting this lack to evolve artistically, and build the foundations of community engagement, exchange and contribution; was a strong political component in this act of the assemblage of disparate process belonging to 2 generations.

The ‘godhadi’ became the main muse; a trope and symbolic representation of a disappearing culture. It probed an investigation of the Indian female identity in the present context. … Who and What is an Indian woman in the post globalization world? The godhadi is not only hand stitched, but is an inherent part of our culture. For Shraddha the whole idea of recycling and the social aspect of this activity was a point to explore. The upcycling of discarded images resonated as one of the many layers in this work. It led to the exploration of printing on fabric, and fragmenting the image while slowly processing traditional norms into a contemporary narrative.

Godhadis are made in rural areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. These quilts are prepared using torn and faded pieces of cloth from dhotis, saris, skirts, ghagras and so on. They are used to wrap babies because of old fabric is soft and warm. Daughters are given a godhadi as a part of their trousseau. This central point of focus has emanated in many ways as Ruby’s established practice and studio has been a point of cross generational dialogue for a young photographer seeking a place of belonging in the arid art world of centralised dominion. Her life steeped in tradition has rooted many ethereal concepts in this ethnic quest, while Shraddha’s contemporary gaze situated the work in the NOW. 

15:00, 23 March 2017 (CET)15:00, 23 March 2017 (CET)~~


Initiated under the Photosphere Grant Exhibited at the Panchatattva: The Road Ahead Exhibition 1st to 31st December 2016 At the India Habitat Center, New Delhi

In Collaboration with Ruby Jhunjhunwala

Curated by Dr Alka Pande

WHAT This vernacular narrative stands as a public art, lens-based installation. It addresses the ongoing flux of the Anthropocene that is ; Man vs nature, natural vs artifact and nature of the artifact and nature of man’s actions in this textural exploration. Throughout the narrative of this conceptual artwork is an entwined trilogy of the highly constructed, to naturally occurring and the discarded. A mythical symbolic journey, which weaves together the appearance, transformations of the dynamic qualities of the five elements, which occur, in, on and within the planet; as well as our social fabric. The various mediums anchor the mythic façade of sleek reflective imagery to the ground reality of human development through stories in fired clay and the use of mundane objects.

5 Images printed on silver foil are installed on a bamboo framework. On, below and adjacent to the images are ceramic works supported by stands made by found and discarded materials. The installation is divided into two horizontalities. The top being the large images creating a mural like effect. While the section below the works offers a clutter of objects, small images and trash to implicate the distinction of ideologies of ecology and the ground realities proven by the residue of waste and transformation of cultural means in the global age of consumption. How does this carry forward your old work This work carries forward methods of practice from way back to the analog days of photography. Shooting and processing film in the dark room, honouring the alchemy of this process. Thus, I seek traces of silver in the use of the metallic silver foil during transcendence into the digital realm of photographic display. Carrying forward, as well, is a strong strain of my ability to collaborate intimately with artists of other mediums. The inter-relationality, inclusion into my own creative process, sharing authorship and expanding my own practice through this dynamic exchange is seen in the work 7.83Hz Bound. How has it changed your practice The opportunity of the award, the institutional platform and the occasion of creating a public art work for a specific audience in the foyer of the Habitat Center, allowed me to evolve my artistic qualities further. On one hand, my work was starting to expend a large amount of energy in managing these new emerging formulas of collaboration while pushing the boundaries of my work, and my position in the Indian art scene. Somewhere, I was forgetting about my passion to photograph and express through this two dimensional art form. Thus, for this project, I turned my attention back to image making. As well, through my time in the first semester at the Piet Zwart Institute, and exposure to methods of creating as discovered in the European art scene, inspired me to delve deeper into creating sculptures from found objects. This new avenue of expression, helped strengthen my visual display, and allowed me to create heavily loaded symbolic statements that offered a provocation to the audience. As well, this was my first project that began with research, and was informed by heavy reading and seeking of ancient knowledge pertaining to the Five Elements - Panchatattvas.

As well, since the award was in my name, it forced me to situate the role of Ruby’s contribution as a supplementary one. Thus I explored my position as a conceptual director, giving her a specific direction, assuming a leaderhip role, and a nurturing one, in the delicacy of the ruthlessness of the Institutional gaze, while retaining the innocence of the shared authorship, gained through years of relationship and trust building. Thus bringing the flavor and joys of making art in a small town, untainted by these centralised idea of industry. How can someone help Going forth, I would like to complete this work as a publication. In this publication, I would like to share the knowledge I have acquired in the quest for information regarding the vast, deep and rich mythic past of India. As well, share my experience of working with a senior artist and the implications of pushing the boundaries of Lens-Based practice. This publication will also serve as a written account of the various symbols inserted into the sculptural forms, the reactions of the public and how they read the work, as well as its place in society today.


In the upcoming year at the studio MFA Program - Piet Zwart Institute, I would like to explore a project that addresses the imminent Ascension that is taking place in the world. On one hand, violence, self hate, prejudices, depression and ecological destruction surrounds our being as a ground reality. This is where, I chose to turn to the sophisticated philosophy, science and methods of well-being that is found in the deep past of the Indian sub-continent.

Throughout this project, I would like to explore

Fruits and Bodies - Photography

Dance and Movement- Projections Gems and Mineral - Light Sculptures Knowledge of Symbols - Screen Print, Drawings and Paintings Rituals - Film-Making/Performance Mantra and Vedic Sciences - Collaboration with Priests and Musicians Landscape and Texture - Travel Research in the Western Context - Institutional Engagement Collaborative Community Building - Public Outreach.

The purpose of the extensive work is to bring in all my past abilities, wisely use the studio and facilities, formulate the beginnings of a serious body of work that I can take forth after the MFA. Do justice to my heritage in the urgency of today's Secondary Orality. Take responsibility of my role as as Eastern artist in the Western context. Share the knowledge of healing, mysticism and ascension that has aided me in becoming a better human. Make an artwork that has functional consequences in society. Live my creativity to the fullest and share this work with my newly found community in Rotterdam and Greater Europe.