Monday, April 28, 2014

Cow Dung at IMMA

Sheela Gowda's Cow Dung

This piece was published in the Sunday Times Culture magazine on the 20 April 2014

Spring is upon us. Parents with young children can grab a cultural fix and at the same time keep their little darlings amused by heading up to IMMA. The layout of the glorious formal gardens is ideal for games of hide and seek and, inside, IMMA's educational programmes provide artistic diversion should the weather not play fair.

There's usually art worth seeing as well. Sheela Gowda's Open Eye Policy is an overview of the celebrated Indian artist’s work over the past 20 years. Trained as a painter, she's a versatile artist who has expanded her reach into sculpture, installation, and photography to engage more directly with the politics of her homeland. Heartland, a manipulated newspaper image, shows a Naxalite suspect in the hands of the Indian military. Her cow dung confections and flattened tar drum installations bring us a taste of a society where the creative reuse of waste materials is key to survival. The dull browns and blacks of their daily grind are relieved here and there by the shocking red of kumkum - blood amid the sweat and tears.

Tue-Fri: 11.30am - 5.30pm
Sat: 10am-5.30pm
Tel: 01-6129900

John P. O'Sullivan