jhani randhawa (they/them)

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©2024 Mag-Ex

During my artist’s residency at the Wormfarm Institute (Reedsburg, Wisconsin) in summer 2019, I was meant to be writing, but my computer stopped working. In the days (then weeks) before I could catch a three-hour ride into the city to the nearest electronics repair shop, I constructed an altar and tapestry, reinscribing/reiterating a series of photographs of my grandmother Jaswant when she was a young mother, recently immigrated to Mombasa, Kenya. In the photographs, her nervous hands became a punctum, a sudden bend in the universe of our intertwined histories. Through isolating, tracing, enlarging the scale, iterating in charcoal, ink, paper, cotton, threads, and eventually writing, a body of work began to form. I consier the altar and tapestry installed at the Woolen Mill Gallery (Reedsburg, Wisconsin) as branches of a larger project in performance and memoir. Another element of this project, what I was meant to be writing, is an in-process book-length lyric essay, started in 2017. Excerpts of this lyric essay appear in O BOD and rivulet.

The tapestry and altar were presented at the Woolen Mill Gallery, alongside work by artists Jagdeep Raina, Alexander Hanson, and Tory Tepp.

Gallery wall text below:





While I was in residence at Wormfarm Institute, resident coordinator Tory Tepp hand-built a set of electric instruments from everyday farm tools: shovel, scythe, and pitchfork. With Alex Hanson, Tory Tepp and I performed an improvised and interpretive musical set at the Woolen Mill Gallery, and continued to practice at the Wormfarm Institute barn.

Please email me for permission to duplicate or re-use these images.