The Great Hedge (British India, 19thCentury)
The Great Hedge (British India, 19thCentury) is based on extensive research I carried out concerning a customs barrier that the British created in India in the nineteenth century to control the smuggling of salt. The 2000-kilometre fence was made of prickly pear, thorny creeper and euphorbia among other spiky trees and shrubs; it ran from present-day Pakistan to south-central India and was patrolled and maintained by thousands of people. After approximately fifty years the fence was destroyed. None of it remains.
The image of The Great Hedge (British India, 19thCentury) was first realized as a drawing. In making it, I was particularly interested in referring to the work of Piranesi, especially his detailed and imaginary representations of prisons and ruins. The drawing was scanned, printed and then flocked on silver paper.
The work was wallpapered directly onto the walls of the gallery. Aside from its social and cultural references, I am also interested in how wallpaper integrates and alters the architecture of spaces. The scale and impenetrability of the installation is meant to confront the viewer and at the same time the beauty, physicality and detail of the work draws one to it. The piece is temporal and only exists for the duration of the exhibition.
Dimensions: 3.4 m x 17.5 m (11’ x 2” x 57’ 5”)