Soul Of a Vav
This is an audio visual installation at Navlakhi Vav, Lukshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. This event is conceptualised by Visual Artist , Kakoli Sen who is working on stepwells since a decade. The artist is trying to save these structures from becoming derelict through her creative language Navlakhi is more than six hundred years old. This is an L shaped Stepwell. This Stepwell is remnant of the Gurjar rule. A plaque on the Vav says it was built in Sultan Muzaffar Shah’s time in the 15th century. On one of the Lower Floors of the Vav is a Brahmi inscription saying Suryaraj Kalchuri,a general of the Gurjar Kingdom and Son-in-Law of King Daddh I, built the Stepwell in Vatpadra. The Vav is called Navlakhi because 9 Lakh Gold Coins were Spent to Build it. This is my endeavour to sustain the regal structures of stepwells; to give the glorious past, a future, by incorporating them into the contemporary lifestyle. I have tried to delve into the history behind the construction of these stepwells and study their evolution. This site specific installations reveals several layers of development over time: a meeting place, a space for ladies gathering while filling water, where lot of religious customs has been performed, the possibilities are infinite. These stepwells , the subterranean edifice and water source, an architectural form that was long popular throughout India especially in the arid regions. How can we foreget the water structures? Can we de slit them? As the world is rolling under acute water crisis, which takes a grim turn in summers in India. The authorities are scrambling for new ways to quench people’s thirst. Can these stepwells be used again at least for water harvesting in drought driven areas?
Start date: November 23, 2018
End date: November 23, 2018
Organization: Free Lance Visual Artist