Hemangini developed an interest towards slate by surprise (or rather through necessity) when she ran out of art supplies in the rural hamlets of the Himalayan mountains during the first wave of covid in 2020. Forced to extend her stay as a result of lockdowns, she began working on plates and natural surfaces found in the valley. It was then that she discovered slate, which opened up a world of nuanced possibilities for her as an artist.
Slate also became a metaphor for the depredations of the mountain environment that she personally witnessed during the time of her sojourn. Slate and granite were being mined incessantly to feed the growing luxury markets of India. Little concern was being paid to the delicate ecological balance that was being disrupted in this quest for raw materials to feed insatiable markets and blind growth. The mountain was not seen as the bringer and preserver of bounty – rain, forests, animals and humans. It was seen purely as a means to an end - by a few, for a few!
This was the seed of the ‘Dishing Out’ project – an initiative that portrays different facets of the mountains – through various types of tableware. These ‘dishes’ literally become the carriers of the mountains' messages, depicting both its grandeur and its despoliation. A reminder that what we eat is also what we destroy!