NS Harsha’s Reclaiming The Inner Space is mammoth. The Mysuru-based artist’s wall-mounted installation, almost 40ft wide, takes up a whole wall at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Then again, the piece does deal with the whole of the cosmos—and elephants.
Specially commissioned for the ongoing contemporary art exhibition Biennale of Sydney (on till 11 June), Harsha’s work is made of hundreds of upturned cardboard packages, around 1,400 hand-carved wooden elephants, mirrors, aluminium sheets and paint, adding up to about 4,000 components in all.
In Reclaiming The Inner space, Harsha’s long-held interest in the cosmos meets consumerism. “I am deeply intrigued by the dark spaces in supermarket stores, under their bright lights," he writes on email from Sydney. The dark space inside all the packages—toothpastes, soaps, medicines, cereals, perfumes, cosmetics—is, to him, the same as cosmic space. This thought led Harsha to open up the carton boxes, prop them up on a wall and expose their internal space.