top of page

SPECTRES OF COLONIAL MEMORY

 

Anoushka Bhalla's practice explores existence through visual research into the materialization of collective trauma and the decay of collective intergenerational memory. Her art, vacillating between the abstract and the representational, is derived from historical archives of ethnic cleansing within the wider global landscape and her homeland of South Asia. Born out of histories of bodily trauma, the loom of death and the spectacle of genocide as seen through memories of ancestral massacres, local and global holocausts, histories of slavery, lynching and other modes of violences, I engage with art-making to contend with the loss of my ancestors who were martyred to these forgotten bloodbaths.

Using symbolically charged, primordial and archaeological elements like terracotta, charcoal, ash, dirt, shellac that symbolise history and the passage of time, the imagery in my work addresses lynching rituals, burial and mortuary practices, landscapes in the wake of destruction and portraits of colonial bodies evoking the collective unconscious of a traumatic past.

Rose leaves when the rose is dead, are heaped for the beloved’s bed/ Portraits from the Lost Homeland

Acrylic, Terracotta, Shellac, plaster on canvas;   36"x30"x3"

Acrylic, Terracotta, Shellac, plaster on canvas; 2023;  84"x36"

Fury of the forgotten

Oil, Acrylic, Terracotta, PVA, plaster on canvas; 2023'  8"x14"

Pathos of a young woman

Oil, Oil pastels, Acrylic, Terracotta, PVA, plaster on canvas; 2023;   24"x18"