Hashmi uses a geometric language an a variety of methods: she draws paints prints embosses and cuts forms out. Paper is the cornerstone of her practice, which she has likened to skin noting that it “can be stained pierced and moulded”; it has the “capability of breathing and and ageing” and is fragile and resilient. What she does not say and I will take that liberty here is that, paper like skin has an ethnicity examples of which are abundant in Hashmi’s practice – she uses Nepalese paper, Okawara paper, BFK white paper etc. While she touches on subjects of loss bereavement and memory from her own experience she also refers to larger communities displaced by state disputes on issues like national borders and religion. There is here also the grief of un-belonging as it relates to the memory of belonging
Schlesinger had an interesting past. He knew the Nazis would rob him of his art collection. So he rolled the canvases of the great Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka in dirty newspapers and got them safely across. The Nazis took away his money and his belongings, but did not open this bundle! He used to constantly say, “I miss my collection.”
In comparison to the paper works sculptures at the show had little impact Noor (2008) a wall hanging of gilded light bulbs fashioned from
In comparison to the paper works the sculptures at the show had little impact, Noor (2008) a wall hanging of gilded light bulbs fashioned from maplewood seemed obvious in its use of material, its form and message. Tasibh (2008) an extra-large looped gilded rosary of beads felt awkward, but River of Tears (2007) a leaner rosary made with imitation pearls was poetic and intimate It seemed to inspire a private exchange between the artist and the viewer. Both sculptural works though similar in form had very different effects which made me wonder whether it was a problem of scale, that the smaller pearl drops could be so lovely and the same form translated into large cylindrical gold seem so monstrous.
The exhibition reinforced the idea that the journeys we revisit even someone else’s shape us. Showing works from 2006 to 2010 the artist was in conversation with her past with her audience and finally with the the politics of the present.