exhibition header image

Traces of Existence: Place between Places by Nidhi Khurana

Nidhi Khurana

Traces of Existence: Place Between Places, 15-26 March 2024

Traces of Existence: Place Between Places’ marks Nidhi Khurana’s debut solo show in the UK and ITERARTE’s inaugural exhibition. The exhibition’s title mirrors ITERARTE’s mission to trace artists’ presence across place and time. Khurana’s practice, showcased in works spanning a decade, aligns well with ITERARTE’s vision, as she skillfully merges various traditional artisanal practices and techniques in a unique universe. Similarly, ITERARTE’s goal is to spotlight contemporary artistic expressions that explore and challenge the connections between cultures, traditions, and identities across three continents, from the Mediterranean region to India—lands steeped in rich history and heritage.

Khurana’s art is profoundly personal. She uses maps as her primary tool of expression, aiming to navigate both the physical and spiritual realms. Her compelling collection of maps delves into subjects close to her heart and interests.
The chronological thread woven through Khurana’s works shows a holistic approach to cartography, drawing inspiration from a diverse range of cognitive processes including Petroglyphs, Aboriginal Songlines, Mappaemundi, Yatra maps, Islamic cosmological diagrams, and historic city maps from places she holds close to her heart like Calcutta and Bombay.

Additionally, Khurana’s varied map works serve as philosophical reflections of her engagement with the world, utilizing specific materials to subtly comment on nature and the environment, often employing traditional materials facing the threat of extinction.

Nidhi Khurana advocates for the preservation of age-old artisanal practices as a resistance against humanity’s tendency towards self-destruction. She adeptly deconstructs these traditional techniques, adapting them to her artistic vision. By experimenting with natural dyes, layering techniques, and incorporating materials such as gold and silver that are traditionally used differently, Khurana sheds light on the fragility of the human condition. Through her extensive portfolio encompassing various mediums such as drawings, textiles, carpets, prints, artist books, and sculptures, Khurana emphasizes a process where the artistic idea dictates the choice of material. Her exhibition features a diverse range of materials including natural dyes, 24-carat gold and silver, handmade paper, slate, and silk. Notably, many of the materials used in her larger works come from recycled cloth scraps sourced from tailors and second-hand cloth markets.