Go back in time with a new exhibition at Mumbai's Bhau Daji Lad museum

Aug 28, 2016, 11:14 IST | Anju Maskeri

Artist Rohini Devasher blends art, science and fiction through astronomy in her new exhibition at Bhau Daji Lad museum

In 2013, artist Rohini Devasher undertook an expedition to see the Maunsell Seaforts, which dot the coast of the UK. These huge metallic structures, relics of the Second World War, functioned as army and navy forts, and named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. The forts were later decommissioned and used for other activities including pirate radio broadcasting.

Field Notes are pages from a fictional diary, comprising notes and photographs from explorer’s sightings of a site that has perhaps existed for hundreds of years and in sites across the globe
Field Notes are pages from a fictional diary, comprising notes and photographs from explorer’s sightings of a site that has perhaps existed for hundreds of years and in sites across the globe

Devasher has now made a film titled Shivering Sands, about the abandoned outposts. "I want people to wonder what these strange tripod-like structures are. What were they meant to be? What could we imagine them to be?" she says. Along with this film, her other exhibits like, Encounters of the Remote Kind, a fictional diary comprising notes and photographs from an explorer's sightings of a site hundreds of years old are as part of her new show, Speculations from the Field at Dr Bhau Daji Lad (BDL)Museum.

"This is my attempt at tying together art, science and fiction through astronomy," explains Devasher. She has also shown the museum's rarely seen collection of natural history objects and artifacts. "BDL used to be the Government Central Museum, so they have a breathtaking collection of relics to do with natural history and geology. For instance, the specimens exhibited here, date back to the Silurian period, the Jurassic period, and the Cretaceous period."

Rohini Devasher
Rohini Devasher

The field, she says, is essentially a place or group of physical sites in which evidence of past activity is preserved. The exhibition, therefore, explores the 'field' both as a series of physical sites —skies, sea forts, observatories, telescopes — but also the museum as a site. "The field is a space for investigation that allows you to explore something unfamiliar. Your reaction to the site won't be what you expected," she smiles.

Where: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla (East)
When: ONGOING, 10 AM - 6 PM
Entry: Rs 10 (adults), Rs 5 (children)
Call: 23731234

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