Digging bucket, plant soil and barley seedlings
458 X 450mm
Harbinger is a performative installation questioning the rapid pace of urbanisation and themes of construction and demolition. The work interrogates the human relationship to land and the motivations of connectivity and transportation driving globalisation in Nepal. The sculpture itself is a culmination of the two distinctive social events in Nepal: the destruction and redevelopment of land, symbolised by the digger; and the non-violent protest act of planting rice seedlings on neglected roads in Nepal. The planting of seedlings symbolises new beginnings. In this way, the work represents two contrasting conceptions of change.
For this installation, I have taken inspiration from the Hindu practice of Jamra making. Jamara is the grass that emerges after barley seeds germinate. The process of Jamara growing is achieved by planting barley seeds in soil and then left in a dark space for a week to grow yellow sprouts, which are cut and presented as a symbol of good fortune during the biggest Hindu religious festival, Dashain. The installation is activated by a performance involving this ‘Holy Grass’ ritual.