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Water Mantra 2018
Hand embroidered with viscose and nylon threads and crystals on silk organza
(133 x 112cm)

Artist Statement

Water Mantra, 2018
By Amita Makan

The hand embroidered cupped hands with Sanskrit mantras from the ancient Rig Veda is a prayer for precious life giving and life sustaining water. The metropolitan city of Cape Town in South Africa, with 4 million inhabitants, is the first city to encounter ‘Day Zero’ when the municipal taps will run dry and people will have to queue for water. The Theeswater dam, once the life source of the city, now cracked dry bed, resembles a desert. ‘Day Zero’ has been postponed to 2019 but still residents of Cape Town live with a daily ration of 50 litres of water per person. Other localities worldwide face similar outlooks.

The daily morning ritual worldwide is to cup our hands to receive water from our taps. Cupped hands are also a gesture of begging. Water Mantra begs Indra, the Hindu God of rain, to break open the clouds to quench our plains and to destroy the darkness.

Mantra is derived from min which in Hindi means mind or to think. Water Mantra is a plea to be mindful of the impact of daily living on our precious and finite resources.

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