Areez Katki

Like Birds, Like Fishes

07 April - 01 May 2021

Like Birds, Like Fishes takes its title from a short story written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala in 1963 – a story in which a young man is caught between Indian tradition and a desire to live as irresponsibly as the birds and the fishes. Prawer Jhabvala was born in Germany of Polish parents and educated in England before marrying an Indian-Parsi architect.​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​She moved to New Delhi in the early 1950s where she was able to observe some of the complexities of Indian lives and minds, while writing with an outsider’s detachment. She was awarded the 1975 Booker Prize for her novel ‘Heat and Dust’ and won Academy Awards for her adapted screenplays, ‘A Room with a View’ (1986) and ‘Howards End’ (1992). 

In an echo of Prawer Jhabvala’s diasporic experience Katki describes his 2021 TMG exhibition as being “framed by the emancipation and quest narratives” of her 1963 story while “stylistically regenerating the migratory narrative” of his own life, through embroidered threads of autobiographical memory, Zoroastrian iconography, landscape motifs and childhood sensation.

Like Birds, Like Fishes comprises four related elements: 

(1) A pair of printed and embroidered Bombay Dyeing Company chequered dust cloth.

(2) A pair of sage-coloured embroidered khadi cloth panels presented in vertical format.

(3) A cream khadi cloth panel embroidered with gestures found in the artist’s colouring books from 1993; his first year of Kindergarten.

(4) A series of 32 embroidered vintage muslin handkerchieves, one for each year of Katki’s life, and gifted to him by the textile restoration team at Howick Historical Village.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Photography by Kallan MacLeod​.

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
April 2021
installation view

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
April 2021
installation view

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Essayer (are we there yet?)
2021
embroidery on khadi cloth
405mm H x 870mm W

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
April 2021
installation view

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
April 2021
installation view

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
April 2021
installation view

image description

Flight with a landscape in the belly
2021
embroidery on khadi cloth
900mm H x 355mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
2021
embroidery on khadi cloth
900mm H x 355mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
A squall unto Yasmin's Friday shrine
2020
embroidery on printed Bombay Dyeing dust cloth c. 1980
755mm H x 830mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Ziggurat (aide-mémoire)
2020
embroidery on printed Bombay Dyeing dust cloth c. 1980
755mm H x 830mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
April 2021
installation view

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
April 2021
installation view

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
April 2021
installation view

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Like Birds, Like Fishes
April 2021
installation view

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 1 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 2 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2021
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 3 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 4 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 5 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 6 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 7 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 8 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 9 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 10 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 11 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 12 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 13 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 14 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 15 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 16 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 17 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 18 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 19 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 20 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 22 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 23 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 24 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
Lesson 25 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 26 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 27 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 21 Revised (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2021
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 28 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 29 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 30 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 31 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame

image description

AREEZ KATKI
Lesson 32 (from 'It's Never too Late to Learn')
2020
embroidery on gifted vintage muslin handkerchief
420mm H x 420mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION