Beautiful People of the Rainbow – the Sea is Salty Everywhere, 2001

Installation view, Community workshop at Grand Riviere, Trinidad and Tobago Islands

Beautiful People Of The Rainbow – The Sea Is Salty Everywhere
sand, pigment, bamboo, photographs
Community workshop at Grand Riviere as part of Big River 2

The large floor drawing of the uterus/island was rendered using sand (a residue of degraded material, derived from the wearing down of rocks). The act of pouring the sand powder while executing the piece resembled that of making Rangolis (floor patterns usually made out of rice powder and filled with colour, done as a daily ritual in some Indian homes but most commonly seen during festivals). Like the rangoli, this work was effaced at the end of the exhibition. It was made to commemorate ‘the individual’s wish’ in an island where one finds a startling mix of ethnic, religious, linguistic and racial identities. As a process of familiarization I carried a candle to every home I visited and to people I met, who were invited to make inscriptions on them (private wishes or personal coded messages) that served as tokens of my transient encounters.

Photographs of those who contributed were taken while inscribing on the candles and mounted on little bamboo boats like flags/sails directing the course of their journeys. The boats were located as though moving towards and away from the uterus island.  The candles, along with diyas and flowers were arranged on a blue drawing of copulating snakes (the Hindu motif of fertility), that also came to symbolize the confluence of the two rivers on the bed of sand (as in David Rudder’s Calypso The Ganges and The Nile).

The uterus/island was conceived as a site for the cross fertilization of wishes, where numerous candles melt down and fuse with the island of the ‘beautiful people’.