THE KA / PILLAR
About the Exhibition
During her residency at LAMO, Zahara explored the notion of the 'Pillar' (Ka), as an integral architectural element in the kitchen of Ladakhi houses. She manipulated the form and nuances associated with it to alter the narrative around the Ka:
"Ka is synonymous with the male figure [in the house], but here I changed the narrative a bit and manipulated in my own way by changing the material and in some way changing the ongoing narrative."
In her hometown of Kargil, the Ka is metaphorically associated with the male figure of the household. But here, Zahara strongly feels that the woman's role in the house, and in society, should also be equally acknowledged, or in other words, be synonymous with the Ka. Through her work, she has sought to transform the narrative and manipulate the material by changing it, since material has the ability to change the narrative and thereby contains the potential of expression.
"So here l use a delicate material to showcase the delicacy of a woman, but also her strength. I also use the technique of weaving to build this structure as the art of weaving is associated with women in this area."
By the very nature of the material and method of construction, Zahara has subverted the role of women in Kargil.
The pillar Zahara had created for the residency is made from copper and stainless-steel wire.
The other pieces in the exhibition were created during Zahara’s time as a student at the Maharaja Savajirao University, Baroda. They talk about domesticity and the utensils used in the kitchen, baskets made and used by women, as well as memories of her the landscape of her home.
About the Artist
Zahara Batool has a post-graduate in Visual Arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Savajirao University, Baroda, with a specialization in Sculpture.