Anna Crichton: Ragpicker at 4am, An Indian Journey

Very Virgin Bride, 2018
Glass beads, thread, hand loomed cotton, rickshaw canopy canvas.
‘No more school, no more play. They said she was eighteen but she looked ten. He could burp, fart and spit Paan all at the same time. He wanted a son’

Ragpicker at 4am, An Indian Journey: Anna Crichton | Holt Gallery
14 March – 23 June 2020

Art as social commentary is a feature of Anna Crichton’s work and Ragpicker at 4am is an invitation to reflect on Crichton’s response to social issues in rural India.  Featuring handstitched embroideries, glass beading and wood block printed fabrics, this exhibition is sure to stimulate reflection and discussion.

Working closely with local craftspeople through curious and patient translators, together with Google Translate, Anna provided the embroiderers with detailed designs and thread direction overlays. Carefully following Anna’s designs, the embroideries were hand-stitched onto hand-loomed cotton and silk cloth, and then sewn onto street-worn canvas backings – formerly pedal rickshaw canopies that Anna bought from their bewildered and amused drivers.

A multi-award winning illustrator and cartoonist, Auckland-based Anna Crichton has turned to new media in this response to the struggles and hardships of India’s rural communities and in particular the impact on women.

The artworks are the creative output of Crichton’s three month 2018 artist residency in Varanasi and a more recent wood block carving and printing project in Ahmedabad, India. Both adventures were a creative response to raw and sometimes confronting stories.

Anna wished to acknowledge and thank The James Wallace Foundation and The Asia New Zealand Foundation for their generous support in helping to fund her residency in Varanasi.