“Untitled Land” is an environmental installation by a New Zealand Artist Brydee Rood in collaboration with local artist Chiman Dangi.
The program occurred on Tuesday 27 August from 6pm – 7.30pm. This ephemeral work is situated around a piece of vacant wasteland opposite Sandeep Paliwal’s Sculpture Korte on Ambamata Temple Road near the Ayurvedic College. The site was specifically chosen by the artists for two main reasons, because people continue to dump their waste there on a daily basis and the question of ownership.
The work is called “Untitled Land” not because it is an “untitled” artwork rather because it draws attention to the history of the site. For several decades people have been fighting in the court as to settle who owns this land, and now the land has become a wasteland. Pigs, dogs, cows and birds roam freely on the land and scavenge in the garbage for food.
Originally Brydee Rood wanted to work with an actual Elephant in this work, but after meeting several mahouts and feeling sensitive about a questionable exploitation and mistreatment of these beautiful creatures, she changed her mind. Working together with Chiman Dangi they created their own Elephant using an auto-rickshaw.
The idea of an Elephant was significant as it relates to Ganesha, the mover of obstacles; a god who generates change within. The artwork is about change. It looks at the changing environment and raises awareness of our surroundings, inciting a movement of change in others, in how people relate to the land through habits of consumption and waste.
Pink, green and white local pigment powder was sprinkled on the surface of the road during the 1st part of the performance, highlighting the area around this piece of land. The artists wore protective plastic raincoats in pink and green with matching air filled plastic rubbish bags on their heads. Malas made from a vine with rags of waste fabric were worn by the artist, the auto driver and the auto/elephant.
There is a sense or ritual in the work that unfolds as the artists create it live, carefully walking and spreading the powder, standing silently in the busy traffic where cars, pedestrians and bikes paused to take note and drive cautiously through the powder spreading it further and printing tyre tracks and colourful marks on the road.
In the 2nd part of the installation, the Auto / Elephant arrived. It was decorated using waste materials and 400 white solar powered lights, cardboard box ears, a vegetable bag trunk stuffed with old newspaper, air filled pink and green rubbish bags like balloons on the roof and a sweeper for the tail. Every last detail was considered and related to the idea of both environmental awareness and cleansing.
The Auto/Elephant drove in circles through the powder in front of the “untitled” land and after the sunset, the lights began to glow bright, bringing Untitled Land to an illuminating end.