MARC STRAUS presents – in her first solo exhibition with the gallery – Natasha Das.
Born and raised in Assam, India and trained in classical representational oil painting in Italy, Das turned her attention to fiber-based materials in 2017. Her exploration of various textiles produced in India, their traditional roles, and social connotations signals a symbolic return to her roots.
Khadi, Ghisa, and Tula (cotton in Assamese) are new materials that Das introduces in this new series, and they are rather subversive compared to the revered silks (mostly Eri and Muga silk) that she predominantly used in the past. Ghisa is a fabric woven from the byproduct of Muga silk and generally considered a lesser material, yet it is a widely used fabric in the region. Khadi, a coarser version of cotton, originates from Mahatma Gandhi’s time, when Indian farmers were encouraged to weave their own cotton to circumvent the monopoly of the East Indian Company in the 1910s. Khadi fabric became the symbol of the silent economic revolution within the context of the freedom struggles of the Indian subcontinent from British colonialism. Tula on the other hand, is a regenerative cotton produced by Indian farmers in recent years relying entirely on rainwater and natural resources forecasting a more hopeful future.
Find out more about the show here.