Jugalbandi – Designed and Made in Australia and India

The aim of this exhibition is to explore new opportunities for Australian art, craft and design through creative dialogue with India. The principle of this dialogue is the understanding that no culture is sufficient to itself. Each culture has certain biases which prompt those within to seek values from other cultures that complement its deficiencies. In Australian craft, we have seen this in the influence of Japanese wood-fired ceramics, which provided a sensitivity to natural process otherwise missing in an Anglo culture. What what might India in the 21 century contribute to Australian culture, and vice versa?

The title Jugalbandi is used as an initial starting point. It refers to a duet in Indian music were performers from two different traditions, such as Carnatic and Hindustani, play together. Its literal meaning is ‘entwined twins’, which evokes the pre-history of Australia and India as once connected in Gondwana.

This exhibition will feature a variety of Australian artists, craftspersons and designers, including some established but with a particular focus on those emerging. The prime venue will be the gallery at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, which will coincide with the Australian Year of India.

In the lead up to this, there will be a series of pop-up exhibitions during Sydney Design Week in August 2012. Venues for this will include the Powerhouse Museum, COFA and the new India Cultural Centre. The plan is then to take this back to Australia for an exhibition in 2013.

I am interested to hear from others involved in this exchange across the Indian ocean. I hope that Jugalbandi provided a platform for experimental creative dialogues between two quite opposite cultures.

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