Suchitra Mattai: Breathing Room: Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID
Using materials often associated with the domestic sphere, such as embroidery, weaving, and fiber elements, Suchitra Mattai creates large-scale installations, sculptures and two-dimensional artworks that navigate her family heritage while also unraveling historical narratives. She reclaims vintage and found materials, such as hand-made saris and other historically rich objects as a way of making sense of the world around her and the multiple cultures she inhabits as an Indo-Caribbean American. By recalling both her own family’s ocean migrations and research on the period of colonial indentured labor during the 19th century, the artist re-writes this colonial history and contributes to contemporary dialogue by giving voice to people whose voices were once quieted and making visible the struggles and perseverance of those who lived through it.
Born in Guyana, Denver-based artist Suchitra Mattai received an MFA in painting and drawing and an MA in South Asian Art, from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Mattai also received fellowships to study at the Royal College of Art, London, and at the American Institute of Indian Studies, Udaipur, India. She has exhibited her work in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, D.C., Denver, Austin, as well as in London, Wales, and Sharjah, UAE.
– Text courtesy of Boise Art Museum.
Installation view, Suchitra Mattai, Breathing Room, 2021/22, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID.
Installation view, Suchitra Mattai, A Topography of Dreams, 2021.
Breathing Room (detail), 2020.
Vintage saris, driftwood, table legs,
144” x 144” x 144”.
Image courtesy Jan Boles.