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Print (MA)

Abhaya Rajani

Abhaya Rajani is a London based multidisciplinary artist recently graduated from MA Print at Royal College of Art. Her architecture background is informed through the making, remaking and unmaking of household elements.

She has exhibited internationally including Weserburg Museum für moderne Kunst (Bremen), Benaki Museum (Athens) as well as in the UK at Hoxton 253, AirSpace Gallery, King House Gallery, Southwark Park Gallery, The Wall Space Gallery, CLCC Gallery Imperial College. Her work, "Use As Per The Instructions" was shortlisted for Signature Art Prize 2021.

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Print (MA)

“Uncanny is in reality nothing new or alien, but something which is familiar and old-established in the mind and which has become alienated from it only through the process of repression.”

-Sigmund Freuddas Unbeimliche (The Uncanny)  


Abhaya’s process of making is inspired by questions about contemporary everyday objects that do not seek answers, but rather raise further questions. She is particularly interested in the manufacture and functionality of everyday ‘things’ with specific focus on structural understanding. A recurring technique is the use of incongruous materials in the representation of mundane objects in order to analyse the nature of symbolism in defining the tools of human existence. A common topic is the contradiction between an object’s materiality and its function, in order to discover new identities by removing function from their structure; the wire mesh door which cannot be opened; the pillows which do not provide comfort; the disassembled, non-functioning table which has lost its surface; these anti-objects are in the search of a mundane uncanniness as the familiar aspect of these domestic objects have been manipulated. 

The equipment which we use does not only represent its usage but a preconceived relationship between user and tool. This is revealed to the observer through the physical form an object takes, not its actual ability to fulfil its perceived purpose. The work is intended to play with the viewer’s mind by subconsciously projecting politics and poetic humour. Through the titles and poetic project briefs an ambiguous narrative is developed and further avenues of interpretation are drawn into the work. 

This explorative work uncovers an ambience of paranoia which exists within the ordinary. 


Picture: Departed/Arrived

The Basic Rules of (un)Drawing — Installation, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff
The Basic Rules of (un)Drawing — Installation, Picture credit: Sam McNeil
The Basic Rules of (un)Drawing — Details, Picture credit: Sam McNeil

The strings are sorted by a grid system, passing through a translucent sheet onto a wooden monolithic board. They reach towards an organised array of nails as if the frame is leaking, but the order is haunted by the chaos of the unwanted.



Medium:

Wooden board, red and black cotton threads, nails, Wooden frame, tracing paper

Size:

160cm x 100cm x 20cm
I Can Dream Tonight — Details, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff
I Can Dream Tonight — Details, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff
I Can Dream Tonight — Installation, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff

This is the anti-bed which does not represent comfort, this is not the kind of object where one wants to rest after coming from work, while having a tired body. It does not reassure anything but sheer fear which will haunt you until your last dream. 

Medium:

White cotton pillowcases, nails, black cotton thread, white tape, steel rings

Size:

230cm x 160cm x 30 cm
Ironed — Installation, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff
Ironed — Details, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff
Ironed — Details, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff

A 3-dimensional character of white collar clothes; a shirt, trousers and a tie cry out loud through the bizarreness of flattened, uncomfortable, rigid metal. The non-existing body, the disproportionate body is suffocating here, it can neither breathe nor die.  



Medium:

Wire mesh, steel wire, metal buttons, red cotton thread

Size:

110cm x 200cm
The Words Have Left My Body — Position 01, Picture credit: Sam McNeil
The Words Have Left My Body — Position 02, Picture credit: Sam McNeil
The Words Have Left My Body — Position 03, Picture credit: Sam McNeil
The Words Have Left My Body — Position 04, Picture credit: Sam McNeil

The form of this book changes according to the human body which is handling the pages. The book contains the wire mesh pages, the threads, translucent fragile paper and everything else but the words.  



Medium:

Wire mesh, book binding ring, black cotton thread, tracing paper, cartridge paper

Size:

12cm x 20cm x 5cm
(Dis)assembled — Installation, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff
(Dis)assembled — Installation, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff

The table legs, floating in the air, divorced from their original structure, recall the memory of the rectangles which now sleep on the floor. The notion of familiarity transforms into absurd unfamiliarity when the rigid Table changes its form into fragile elements, the individual parts celebrate a ceremony of misplaced. 



Medium:

Metal Table Legs, 3mm black tape, transparent thread

Size:

250cm x 250cm x 250cm
Out of Order — Installation, Picture credit: Art Sokoloff

The hooks are tired, they cannot take weight of anything, not even of their own.



Medium:

Wooden board, broken plastic hooks, screws, black foamboard

Size:

75cm x 100cm