Prajakta Palav Aher Sprouting Beads

15 June - 15 July 2010

Grosvenor Vadehra is pleased to announce Prajakta Palav’s first London solo show.
Born in 1979, she is a leading emerging artist from India and is based in Mumbai.
In Sprouting Beads she continues to explore her life and experiences in the everexpanding
mega-city of Mumbai which sees a daily influx of migrants. One half of the
show deals with the explosion of the population and its effect on the city whilst the the
other half deals with the clutter and mess that builds up in people’s homes and flats and
their efforts to conceal it.


There are four paintings that
capture the explosion of the city. In
Overflowing, Palav meticulously
paints a sky-high pile of rubbish, in
this case pulp rubbish from a landfill
site. Just as cities in India are
overflowing with rubbish, the
rubbish seems to be coming out of
the canvas as well. In all her
paintings Palav plays with
perspective, creating images that
subvert our understanding of
everyday objects. In Spitting, she
captures the over-flowing commuter
trains, which inhabit the everyday lives of Mumbaikars. These paintings are not just
photographic copies – they are altered and adapted to heighten perspective. People are
stacked on top of each other as they hang out of the train doorways. The background is
left white which leaves the painting open to interpretation. The title of the painting
humourously refers to the habit of spitting consipicous in India – seen in the form of
people and objects falling off the trains. Bursting depicts hundreds of cars, buses,
rickshaws in one massive, endless traffic jam while Spreading depicts the growing slum
rising up into the sky. These works whilst criticising the lack of amenities and
infrastructure also betray some kind of fascination with the by products of rapid
growth. These paintings also reflect the lower-middle class surroundings that Palav
grew up in, on the outskirts of Mumbai, full fo slums and commuter trains not for the
Mumbai tourists to see.
Just as she captures the World outside her window she is also
concerned with the ever expanding mess and clutter in a small
suburban flat and the efforts to hide that mess. This series of
paintings entitled Tiny Corners, are paintings/reliefs that are
embedded into the gallery wall. The white minimalist finish is
disturbed by a glimpse of the mess visible through the cracks. Palav
mentions that from the surface houses may look neat and tidy, but if
you look behind the door, you’ll see a stack of coats and bags, hidden
away. Tiny Corners challenges and invites the viewer to look
behind the corners, into the hidden mess.
In both the paintings and installations, Palav creates beautiful works, meticulously
painted and well-crafted, but fundamentally, she paints ‘the ugly’, the things which are
meant to be hidden. There are references to the image given of new India that is
booming and prosperous, but if you look behind the doors there are many problems like
the lack of infrastructure, day-to-day amenities and poverty. Palav’s