Tag Archive | art about india

Wheelchair ballet school in Vivekananda Rd, Calcutta. AUSTRALIAN GALLERIES SEPT.3-22

Wheelchair ballet school in Vivekananda Rd, Calcutta
Oil on linen, 198 x 213 cm
In 1999 while visiting Calcutta I had to use Vivikananda Road. Vivikananda Road is full
of old, frail men carrying ridiculously oversized loads of stuff on their backs. The legs they
use to stumble around in circles on – all have gamey bandages wrapped around their
knees and ankles, and they are always bumping into each other and blaming the other
guy. That day when I was walking through Vivikananda Road a 20-metre metal pole
smashed into my eye, the pole was invisibly thin and rusty and the old man carrying it
over his shoulder was walking sideways and his head was facing the ground, he started
yelling at me in Hindi. I apologised “sorry for getting my fucking cornea in the way of your
rusty pole “. I made this drawing that night at the hostel. And when I got home I made a
painting on Vivekananda Rd called
They opened a plastic surgery next to the mental
home

In 2008 I was in China just before the Olympics. The torch relay was covered by one TV
station there 24 hours a day and because the Communist government pay everyone the
same they have to reward their
bureaucrats with favours such as running in the torch
relay, but there are so many
bureaucrats in China that the torch legs are divided into only
5 metres each – so it looks more like pass the parcel than a relay

The torch relay had many photo opportunities to show Chinese culture. On one day the
TV showed the torch passing through a Wheelchair Ballet school so I made a drawing
that night and a painting when I got home, the painting formed part of a multi-panel called
The Olympic torch relay in Xinjiang Province

 

Cameron Hayes
The Olympic Torch Relay in Xinjiang Province, 2011
Oil on linen
80 x 80 inches
Photo: Bill Orcutt
Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

  • The young girls at the Chinese wheelchair ballet school moving around the basketball
    court waving their arms in the air and bumping into each reminded me of the elderly men
    in Vivekananda Rd. I liked the idea of these children having all their disabilities beneath
    them – behind them, and the elderly having them all above them – in front of them. There
    is left to them a small space in between to do something, and with that space they do
    everything they can.

 

In Vivekananda Rd. Calcutta all the buildings  are battered up and patched up many times over. On both sides of the road and they form a guard of honour for the beaten up and and patched up people who walk down it.