In compositions of textiles made, found and embellished, Alka Dass stitches intricate invocations of “nostalgia, home, identity, feelings of displacement and alienation and just being an Indian woman in South Africa.” To the artist, her textile wall pieces are “a diary entry of sorts. They all represent a different period of a landslide of emotions I had encountered during the lockdown last year...I had been in Mexico and returned five days before the country declared quarantine. I found a large similarity between Mexican and Hindu myths and folk art. And I interpreted this coincidence through old, new and found textiles I had collected through the years.”
In Sacred heart for tears and fears, a felt rendition of the Catholic icon is paired with the Om symbol in Devanagari script, and set against an appliquéd background of faded fabric.
33 x 33cm | textile wall piece | unique
Alka Dass (b.1992) lives and works in Johannesburg. Originally from KwaZulu-Natal, she studied fine art at the Durban University of Technology. Alka works across mediums, her materials of choice more often found objects. In form, she favours the tactile and fragile – glueing pressed flowers to old photographs, stitching elaborate patterns on printed images, and creating intricate sculptural installations. “My work,” Alka told Oath Magazine in an interview, “looks at dissecting the tapestry of my culture and how each thread of thought has carefully given shape to the identity I have come to associate with myself and my community.”