Art: when I heard about the collapse of Rana Plaza

By Catherine Cartwright

Dhaka, Bangladesh: 24 April 2013                         Rana_Plaza_web

Dhaka, Bangladesh: 24 April 2013

When I heard about the collapse of Rana Plaza I created this print. The image in the newspaper of thousands of people watching, standing quite still and waiting for news of survivors, caught me. I thought about the many hundreds trapped inside, both formerly as workers and now as victims. I read about the two extra floors built illegally upon the building to house more workers. And I was struck by how the building itself seemed to bleed as reams of fabric spilt out of the wretched concrete.

The print was made from a plate. The plate was created through torn up card, re-stitched together on a sewing machine. Lines and figures were scratched into the card with a sharp point. When I chose the inks, it was the hot vibrant sari colours that I thought of, prompted by a memory of a sari-clad woman on the bus in Northern India.

Detail:
Rana_Plaza_DETAIL_web

There are other prints I have done that have been more successful in their outcome, which is why you’ll not find this on my website. But it remains important to me because in the process of making it, I was able to begin a journey of thinking about what happened there that day and why. And so, I’m extremely pleased and excited to have the opportunity to work with the 2014 Grand Challenges team to continue finding out more.

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