SURA MEDURA Residency, Spring 2019 – Blog post :
I continued to work with Mangalika, and also spent some time with her granddaughter Samadi. I had a lovely afternoon with them both creating some more nests from coconut fibre (coir). I filmed Mangalika’s hands working with the fibre to make twine, whilst Samadi created a small ensemble from fridge magnets and flowers on the front porch. I enjoyed this quiet time crafting and making together. On leaving, I noticed Mangalika’s wood pile, which reminded me of the eagle’s nest. I pointed this out and asked if I could borrow some of the wood to create a nest for the final show at Sura Medura. Mangalika enthusiastically agreed.
For the exhibition at Sura Medura, I displayed the nest Mangalika originally wove, along with more experiments we created together from coir in a window space. Outside, I constructed a larger nest from the wood pile with a light and speaker inside along with three more speakers embedded in coir hung in surrounding coconut palms. I created a soundscape of occasional snippets from the tunes that tuk tuks play when they are selling goods such as fruit, bread, ice-cream. When we first arrived, for a moment, we actually thought the fruit selling tuk tuk tune was a bird… so it seemed quite fitting to make ‘tuk tuk’ bird chirps in the woven nests. Mangalika’s son-in-law is a tuk tuk driver, so this seemed to weave together Mangalika’s whole family.
I’d originally intended to have a video of Manglaika’s hands weaving coir showing inside the larger nest, but due to heavy rain storms happening a few times a day, and the timing of the show at dusk, I decided construct this into a short film this instead.