Reclaiming the Inner Space : Chemoulding: 60 Years of Gallery Chemould | Gallery Maskara

15 September - 22 October 2023

This three-dimensional, wall-mounted work features a ‘herd’ of approximately 1400 hand-carved wooden elephants that appear to roam a plain made from recycled cardboard packaging, flattened and attached to acrylic mirror. While the elephants refer to the ornaments that one might find in Indian souvenir shops, they also recall the elephant processions of Dasara festivities in Mysore, the artist’s home, and elsewhere, celebrated at the end of Navratri each year.
Collected from various sources, including recycling facilities and the artist’s friends and family, the cardboard packaging is attached face-down to the mirror, its printed graphics and logos readable only, up close, in reflection. The unprinted sides of the packaging, meanwhile, have been partially covered with an explosive trail of dark paint which Harsha has embellished with a detailed constellation of stars and planets.
Interweaving local and global points of reference, Reclaiming the Inner Space underscores a sense of interconnectedness that characterises much of Harsha’s art. Here, the changing consumer habits, cultural customs and labour patterns of his local neighbourhood are aligned with broader socio-political narratives of modernisation, mass-production and our changing relationship to nature.

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