‘Slough’ project is about overcoming my anxiety in approaching strangers and engaging them in a conversation. Modern society, especially western urban societies seem to be characterised by a sense of detachment and isolation. I wanted to see the reaction of people when I approached them and study their subsequent behaviour. I approached strangers and tried to engage them in a conversation. The one question I asked was, if they were happy and what would make them happy. It was interesting how different people reacted to me and to the video camera I held in my hands. I had mixed reactions, some walking away, some suspicious, some reluctant, some open and some very friendly! I even managed to hold a conversation in Polish, even though I don’t speak the language!
I projected this video large scale in a small space, so that the viewer could feel a sense of nervousness that I felt, being a bit too close and personal to strangers.
The high ceilings and the natural beams in the ceiling reminded me of beams back home in the villages in India where hammocks were made out of saris and were used to provide comfort and shelter to babies. I was also aware of the fact that ships from India and Asia used to pass through TBW and their cargo was mainly spices and tea. So my independent project was to tie saris around the high beams of the ceiling and fill the saris with Indian spices. The spices were placed in the sari and shaped to express the sleeping form of a baby.
My concept was to show this journey of beginning with ‘nothing’, to create ‘something’ and to end with ‘nothing’.This is a site specific work done with materials found at the site and with the involvement and particpation of other artists working within the same space.