Collection 1970s–Today

Sheela Gowda. Of All People. 2011 291

Wood doors, shutters, doorframes, windows, pillars, table and fragments, framed photographs, wood chips, and metal chains, Overall dimensions variable. Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds. © Sheela Gowda

Artist, Sheela Gowda: Hello, this is Sheela Gowda. I'm an artist who lives and works in Bangalore in India. And this is a work I made in 2011, of all people.

Within this installation are little figurines, made by hand. Finding these figurines was for me a starting point of this work, because for me they represent masses of people, which is where the title of the work comes from. First I thought they were pieces of wood, but then I saw that they were individual figurines and that absolutely fascinated me. Each one has a different expression, each one has a different mood.

There are some which are kind of made important, because they stand on a pedestal. And on the walls, I have fifteen photographs of individual faces, seeming to look down on you, as you look up to them. Then they also lie within the upside-down table, as a mass. One could imagine that this is a large central space within a little town. And they are kind of migrating from this colony to another colony.

The doors and windows are of human scale, and the figurines are very small. In small towns and rural areas, the doors and windows are this emerald green, or this yellowish-white or this cobalt blue, or this peppermint pink. I like the fact that I was actually retrieving pieces of wood door frames and shutters which were already used. I don't like to erase their history.

The way you view this work is through actually walking through it. And with your proportions, your gaze, you are very much part and parcel in that moment, of that work. And I think, therefore, it's still becoming, as people view it. I wouldn't say it's unfinished, but it's open.