June 09, 2006

My inspirational picture for Project Spectrum's month of blue. It's in the V&A and called Akbar Witnesses the Drowning of Two Members of his Retinue.

Bit of a serious one this month, I'm going to pinch some of the V&A's interpretation:
This illustration to the Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) depicts the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556–1605) watching two of his men drowning as they attempt to swim with their horses across the Ravi River in the province of Lahore (in present-day Pakistan). The composition was designed by the Mugha court artist La’l, and the details painted by Sanwala.

I've struggled a bit with what to do this month as I tend to use blue very rarely. Then I heard about Knit a River, a knit petition to encourage more governments to invest in water aid projects.

Water, and the lack of it, seem to be making the headlines at the minute. Here in the rainy UK we are facing drought conditions, hosepipe bans and the threat of standpipes (last seen in 1976, a summer clear in many British people's memories). But even so it's hard to imagine having to walk miles every day carrying water, or knowing that the water you have is contaminated and might kill your children.

The picture shows how difficult it is for us to master water, much as we need to. It's a good inspiration for my 15cm x 15cm blue square...


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