“The best part of making art,” Alka Dass says, “is not putting a lot of words to it.” Yet asked to locate her work thematically she concedes with a short list of wide-range of influences, among them “my sister’s embraces”, “mangos (the fruit)”, “my partner’s endurance”, “old family photographic archives”, and “the sea.” Alka’s most recent project – embroidering bucket hats with materials bought and found – continues her preoccupations with collage, layering, and trace.
A Pansy might be my self-portrait after all features a black cotton structure with patterned fabric tie and an embroidered appliqué crown.
bucket hat with detailing and tie | 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.”