Look Down On Me and Reflect
In response to Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum
3 steps of 100cms x 30cms x 15cms each
White laser cut acrylic, varnished wood and mirrors
‘Look Down on Me and Reflect’ is the piece I made in response to the Russell-Cotes house in Bournemouth that is now an Art Gallery and Museum.
What drew me in the most in the house was the lavishness and Victorian nature of the house itself, built in 1897, within the timeline of the British Raj in India. In retrospect, Annie and Merton Russell-Cotes (The owners and makers of the house) belonged to the ‘superior’ country. Given that a lot of the landscape and lavish style of living was funded through exploitation and loot of the colonies.
The steps symbolise elevation and hierarchy. The Britishers were considered as superior in power and race, while the Indians were considered to be slaves. Annie and Merton travelled through India and in making imperialistic judgments about it, they conveniently placed themselves above the poor Indians.
The mirrors allow reflection of the constructed self to contemplate the judgemental view on Colonialism.
The laser-cut designs the are narration of Annie and Merton's travels as a record of time.
It’s the common mindset of every Britisher that India is held for materialistic value only, otherwise it serves no purpose, holds no importance.
They looked at themselves as the higher power, higher race, owners of India, as if they were doing us a favour. The viewer looks at the mirror on the steps while being on the ground to get a new perspectives on hierarchies.