In Indra’s Net

WORK IN PROGRESS

6-minute (looped) film, graphite pencil drawings with labels (sizes variable) and transparent prints in light boxes (sizes variable)

In this project, I imagine India’s Falgu river a millennium from now, significantly altered by global heating and changes in biodiversity. Through the fictional eyes of a botanist duo, I am working on a series of drawings, layered prints and a film, imagining how fauna and flora might evolve during this time period. My scientists collect data, make drawings and takes notes during an expedition near where, circa 500 BCE, the Buddha is said to have achieved Enlightenment. The exhibition iteration will feature my drawings and prints alongside fictional notes detailing how these organisms have evolved and a short film that features the scientists in rhyming dialogue with each other, questioning their work, the moral problems science must address, and its relationship to spirituality.

June 18, 3,222 Note 465b: Class: Insecta / Order: Lepidoptera / Family: Nymphalidae / Genus: Junonia / Species TBC (‘Infinity Moth’) T and I have nicknamed this an ‘Infinity Moth’, although it is in fact a butterfly. A close relative would appear to be the Bodh Gaya Peacock Pansy: Junonia AlmanaCylindrical. Head blackish, slightly hairy, wings saffron. Has feint dorsal, subdorsal and lateral blackish line, v. pronounced marking spreading symmetrically across the thorax, forewings and hindwings which resemble the ‘endless knot’ found in the eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism. Early observations suggest the butterfly can make this marking appear and disappear at will, aiding in camouflage.

I’ve kept a journal of the last months spent

up the old Falgo in our small canoe.

At some river bends we stop and marvel

at the fish we’ve caught, their clear backs marbled.

 

Beyond spots where toxic waters brew,

we search each night for sites to pitch the tent.

Each day we’re hungry to learn much more,

discussing our finds when we rest ashore.