Laced (2019)

Crochet, lace, fabric, iron structure, printed images, video and pool of salt water. Dimensions variable

‘Laced’ is a decorative web or a screen that allows you to see beyond. It’s an illusive cover and its decorativeness and its potential dichotomy of revealing- unrevealing in the same instance instils a sensual exoticness.  Lace, particularly crochet and other handmade laces are anchored in our colonial history. Brought into Sri Lanka by the colonisers as a practice particularly as a preoccupation for upper-class women, it connects us to the creative traditions of Portugal and Dutch heritages.   Hand-made lace, crochet making has evolved from being a pastime for upper class women to an exotic and exclusive item sold for high value now, practiced mostly as an occupation for women in the lower income strata.  Crochet, a colonial legacy turned into an exotic object.

Fort, an architectural structure that is built for its strength and impenetrability.  Forts were built as a colonial enterprise to fortify their military power and to keep the natives at bay.  Today the ramparts of these forts remain as exotic monuments of a bygone era.

‘Laced’ is accompanied by the video ‘Conquest’. Both ‘Laced’ and ‘Conquest’ combines these two disparate motifs of our maritime history to give a nuanced narrative.