Australindopak Archive scrolls I II III. Details. Watercolour, oil paint, found material, papercut, embroidered panels, gold and silver leaf, paper scrolls, field generated sound, voice composition, found sound. 3x1000cmx25cm (entire). Audio x 70 sections.
The Australindopak Archive emerged through three years of increasingly immersive journeys through parts of Australia, India, and Pakistan. The archive comprises three extended scroll paintings and seventy associated audio works that explore experiences of non/belonging and transience, themes which guided my journeys and contextualised encounters with people, animals, plants, and environments.
The Archive developed incrementally as an act of diary keeping in scrolls of paper that I carried and in which I made drawings and paintings as I travelled. The scrolls contain hundreds of little stories, vignettes, portraits, self-portraits, anecdotes, and notes, as well as collaboratively-generated paintings. The paintings are cross cultural in content and form, and utilise a corresponding fusion of techniques and ways of painting including Indian miniature painting, marbling, plein air painting, collage, in-situ drawing, translucent and opaque watercolour, paper cut, gold and silver leaf.
Alongside painting, I collected sound in the form of interviews, conversations, environmental sound, songs, and anecdotes which I used to create audio works to expand the stories in the paintings. The paintings and audios unify within three virtual interactive tours that allow the panoramic scrolls to be navigated in their entirety. Individual paintings may be magnified using the tool bar, with audio available through clickable hotspots. Hotspots may also be turned off for uninterrupted viewing of the paintings.
To tour the Australindopak Archive click on any one of the above images.
Making the Australindopak Archive involved a great deal of sketching in-situ during which I often shared the scrolls with subjects and interested passers by. Such informal 'performances' made a storyteller of me, an idea that grounded for me through time spent with artists of the Chitrakar community of Naya, West Bengal, and who have been practicing their tradition of Patuya Sangit or 'Scroll Singing' for the last nine hundred years.
Though able to be exhibited as a static work, the Australindopak Archive, like the scrolls of the Chitrakars comes to life through acts of being shared and performed for small audiences using 'Crankies' - special rolling display boxes as pictured above.
The virtual tour and platform for the Australindopak Archive was created by Omair Raza
through innovations with interactive architectural software.