CUT, TEAR, CURL
Anant Art Gallery, 2010 (January-February)
Catalogue Essay: Latika Gupta
Mahula Ghosh’s solo exhibition takes tea as its central focus. Her interest in the tea industry was fostered during the many years she spent in the Darjeeling district. The name of the exhibition is derived from C-T-C, the cut, the tear, and the curl method or processing tea that was invented by w.McKercher in the early 1930s. The violence that is inherent in these terms- cut/crush, tear/twist find ominous echoes in the social and the political problems that are today plaguing the tea gardens. Over the last few years, many tea estates are either being sold or abandoned by the owners and Mahula became acutely aware of the major dislocations of the families of tea workers who are not provided proper rehabilitation. The now familiar story of urban ‘development’ is now playing out in areas such as Chadmoni, as housing complexes and shopping centres replace older systems of land usage and industry. A large section of the workers migrated from Chotanagpur in Bihar and Nepal and the recent loss of their jobs has resulted in a host of societal crises; many women are being sold against their will into human trafficking, the number of suicides is increasing alarmingly. As Mahula says through her work, she has attempted to explore the life and the human element of the tea industry.
(excerpt from the catalogue essay titled ‘Cut, Tear, Curl’ by Latika Gupta)