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Garden Party | Featuring Suchitra Mattai

Join in for a Garden Party in the Park in celebration of our 2024 Summer Exhibition Suchitra Mattai: We are nomads, we are dreamers. Featuring a conversation with the artist and curator, dance performance, and refreshments inspired by the exhibition’s garden. This event is free to attend.

We are nomads, we are dreamers is a solo exhibition of newly commissioned works by Suchitra Mattai that celebrates the migratory oceanic journeys of past, present, and future diasporic communities. Inspired by the Park’s position along the East River, which flows into the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, this exhibition features a series of soft sculptures made from vintage saris collected from women of the South Asian diaspora. The exhibition’s title reflects upon transatlantic migration experiences, including Mattai’s ancestors who traveled from India to British Guiana (now Guyana) as indentured laborers in the early twentieth century, as well as the artist’s own personal migrations.

At the center of the Park, six futuristic pods, reminiscent of continental forms, emerge from the landscape, reflecting the dynamic interplay of the shifting sky and ecology. Draped in vibrantly colored saris, meticulously hand-woven together, these monumental forms transcend static existence, subtly evolving and adapting within their waterfront ecosystem. Here, new living beings and elements like sun, rain, and wind interact with the textiles, enriching the pre-existing lives embedded in the saris, which carry the memories of the women who wore them. These artifacts from the future serve as an ever-evolving testament to the human experience of migration and adaptation—a monument to the journey of becoming. 

Nearby, a series of seven hanging sculptures adorn the grove of trees, reflecting on notions of femininity and fertility. Additionally, at the south entrance of the Park, the Broadway Billboard features a thirty-foot collage by Mattai. Organized in collaboration with Barkha Dance Company, dance performances will activate the exhibition on June 12, July 18, and August 25.

We are nomads, we are dreamers is organized by Socrates Sculpture Park and curated by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, Curator & Director of Exhibitions.