Shivanjani laL

Mere Porvaj [I am remembering]

Juncture Art Prize
31 May > 25 August 2024

Mere Porvaj [I am Remembering]
The girmitiyas are gone now, but their imprint is etched indelibly on the landscape of their adopted homes 
Brij V Lal from Chalo Jahaji

Mere Porvaj [I am remembering]

My family I am remembering.
My people I am remembering our journeys by water, our struggles on land. 
I am remembering our bodies working this land, tending it as though it were our own; for the will of others who continue to forget us and our story.

I am remembering our prayers and our songs.
No longer defined by our loss and our erasure.
These works consider softer moments of building home. Holding our memories in our bodies and in our landscapes.

This is something true.
My Aaji built the house I think of as home. A blue house on a hill. Overlooking a green river…
Her sari is light orange, waving in the wind.

My Nanni built her house. A house with a red puja room with ghosts that breathed in and out as the wind blew. Facing the school. 
Her sari is soft pink and green, silk from the south of India a reminder of homelands and weaving through green fields of sugarcane.

The works in Mere Porvaj [I am remembering] speak to a history that has been forgotten, the labour of women, and the love of a land that continues to hold them. The works in this new body of work explores print making, textiles, objects and a song that holds it all together. Offering a meditation on who gets to remember but also small moments of joy and prayer that allow a community to continue and persist.

+ Visit Shivanjani Lal's Website

In 2023 Linden New Art launched JUNCTURE, a major new art prize for Australian mid-career contemporary artists. Two artists are each awarded $20,000 to support their practice, and twelve months in which to develop new work to be presented as a solo exhibition at Linden 2024. The inaugural winners of the prize were Shivanjani Lal and Vittoria Di Stefano.

Shivanjani Lal is a Fijian-Australian artist and curator whose work uses personal grief to account for ancestral loss. She uses storytelling, objects and video to account for lost histories and to explore narratives of indenture and migratory histories from the Indian and Pacific oceans. Lal’s work acts as a guide through lived and imagined narratives, attempting to decipher what is lost and the possibilities of futures. Lal’s work is grounded in truth telling and a questioning of art history.

IMAGES > Shivanjani Lal, Mere Porvaj [I am remembering], installation view, 2024. > Shivanjani Lal, Mere Porvaj (Land in there bodies), installation view, Eucalyptus Oil Transfer Prints on Rice Paper made on Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun land. > Shivanjani Lal, Mere Porvaj [I am remembering], installation details, 2024. Photographs: Simon Strong.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.