Time is a strange thing; we experience it in a linear way, but in the installation The Fluidity of Horizons, it is like a whorled wormhole that connects the viewers to different points in our history: to white men pursuing black gold, travellers chasing dreams of discoveries, mathematicians seeking knowledge, particles colliding with each other – all the way to a future where the human drive to explore, leads us out into space.
The viewer is positioned in front of these works like a time-traveller. The Fluidity of Horizons looks at the human urge to journey, through the prism of travel undertaken for trade. At the centre of the work are the journeys of the past undertaken by the great trading empires, whose travels brought them to the coasts of Kochi.
To evoke these journeys, Parvathi uses such imagery as the astrolabe in a large six-panel (15′ x 6′ x 2″) work that is part of the installation. The astrolabe, an instrument of navigation developed in the Islamic world was later introduced to Europe. Another triptych (5’4″ x 8′ x 2″) derives from the spice trade. Here Parvathi plays with the abstract and constantly changing waterscape of the surf, created when the Arabian sea collides against the sands of Kochi; over this hovers a giant peppercorn, at once surreal, and exuding a latent menace.
Other drawings that make up this installation deal with mappings of the body and the quantum world – and the landscapes therein, of geographical, cellular and subatomic structures.
Parvathi’s works suggest how at any given time we as humans are involved in multiple journeys – both the visible ones that involve us going from point a to point b, the deep journeys within cellular and subatomic levels and the grandly epic one of our planet hurtling along through space.