UniVers II - melting wor(l)ds

The second edition of UniVers Neu, a mail art continuation to Guillermo Driesler’s PEACEDREAM - PROJEKT from the 1980s. This issue invites 40 artists and designers to create 60 copies of one piece of visual and experimental peotry on the theme melting wor(l)ds. Each page is slightly unique, and includes a handmade element. The 60 pages are mailed to Karla Sachse in Berlin, who assembles them into 60 portfolios, Each contributor receives one portfolio in the mail containing an edition of each person’s artwork.

My contribution is based on my family’s farm near Vadodara. 40% of our land, and neighbouring farms, will be taken by the government for development and urban expansion. I was inspired by Anna Atkins, a British botanist and the first known woman photographer, and her work Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions published in 1843. I referenced her methods to document parts of the farm and flora that would be soon lost to urbanisation. This work features, in particular, a cyanotype image of the leaves of the Mahua tree, which has a controversial presence in Gujarat - a dry state - as alcohol can be produced from its flowers. The image appears alongside a plan from an official notice highlighting which parts of our land will be taken away, as well as a poem that also acts as a legend to the markings on the map. On each of the 60 pages, the leged and markings have been handpainted in different patterns and colours.