Shivanjani Lal is a twice-removed Fijian Indian Australian artist who works with archival images, found materials, video, performance and ritual. Her work explores the indentured labour diaspora of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the histories that brought her family from India to Fiji and now to Australia. By unpacking experiences of intergenerational trauma, grief and healing in her work, Lal preserves, creates and redefines the history of the Indo-Fijian community away from the current political climate in both Fiji and India.
This exhibition brings together new photography and video documenting Lal’s return to Fiji after a prolonged absence and a visit to see her grandmother’s house, alongside map works that evoke her family’s history shaped by the kālā pānī (‘black waters’). In Hindu culture, kālā pānī refers to a past proscription of crossing the seas to foreign lands that led to a loss of caste and social exclusion.
The title, from the writing of Manisha Anjali, invites the recounting of a story: Beta, ek story bathao. Child, tell me a story.
WHEN: 17 JANUARY - 14 MARCH 2020
WHERE: UNSW GALLERIES
ADDRESS: CNR OF OXFORD ST & GREENS RD, PADDINGTON NSW 2021
HOURS: TUES TO SAT, 10AM-5PM. CLOSED PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
Image: Shivanjani Lal, '4 Lines Across a Horizon' 2004/2018. Stitched prints on recycled paper. Image courtesy: the artist.