Pranati Panda’s much-awaited first solo show titled Speaking Threads, is an exploration of self-hood as a site of art and life practice.
Influenced by the same instincts in life as her art, Pranati describes her decision to wait to showcase her work on this scale by analogizing herself as a river, having flowed with time to build a strong physical, emotional and mental connect to her work. Much of her oeuvre continues to be driven by self-analysis. Pranati’s primary concerns are the experience of time and the self, and the self in time, and she explores these philosophies viscerally as well as through personal anecdote. This thoughtful precision is exemplified in the rampant use of red in her work, which represents blood
and life force, and the use of needle and thread, nostalgic for the childhood idyll of watching her mother knit also as a meditation on rebuilding and repair.
In this exhibition Pranati’s expresses herself eclectically – through depictions of landscape and human organs, in sculpture, in prints, in video, in small, circular paintings she fondly refers to as ‘time pieces’. She pursues a confluence of two energies, using both ‘feminine’ materials such as thread and fabric alongside ‘masculine’ materials such as net and jaali. Most vividly expressed in the brain sculptures, Pranati recognizes the tenet of balance as something to strive for in theory but which occurs unpredictably in practice – one never really knows how or as who one will wake up in the morning. Meanwhile, her videos titled ‘In Silence’ examine her choreography through time, whether lived in flow or in rush, through novelty or repetition. Unexpectedly a blue work appears, not in contrariness to the red works but to be regarded for its infinity, since the experience of the self is often contrary.
What Pranati considers ‘loose freedoms’ – or watching the world through a literal or figurative screen – suggests she emerges as both subject and object in her environments. The meditation of her practice, much like knitting, finds meaning in the labour of the process, in the search for something without necessitated conclusion.