How does one define home and what does it mean to belong? Viewers are invited to consider these questions and explore how environments shape personal narratives, family histories and constructions of the self in sugar bound, Suchitra Mattai’s latest solo exhibition on view at the Center for Visual Art at MSU Denver beginning August 30.
Born in Guyana and based in Denver, Mattai is an internationally recognized artist who was recently nominated for the prestigious United States Artist Fellowship and is slated to participate in an upcoming international biennial in 2019. Mattai has created all new work for this exhibition, her largest to date.
“Suchitra’s work has immediate draw due to her use of vibrant color, the way she mixes media, her play with symbolism and the dynamic energy throughout,” says Cecily Cullen, Director and Curator of CVA. “Beyond the visceral impact, there are many layers of meaning. Mattai takes the viewer to distant locales and time periods while simultaneously relating the far off to the here and now, imparting the weight of an intercontinental personal history and the larger implications of colonialism.”
Much of the work in sugar bound is informed by Mattai’s ancestors’ legacy of indentured servitude in the sugar fields of colonial Guyana and her own experience living in multiple countries and continents. “Connecting the dots between past and present, I seek to invent a sense of “home” – both mine and that of the indentured servant,” says Mattai. “Home becomes a conceptual space for belonging, and as an American, Caribbean, South Asian from Latin America, the processes of migration, assimilation and belonging are at the heart of my exploration.”