Priyanka Rana Moonlight sculpture, wood outer section of trunk, aluminum square and white nods

Cabrillo Gallery

Priyanka Rana: Inner Life

January 29 - March 1, 2024

Inner Life traces Priyanka Rana’s journey not only across continents and cultures, but also into the deepest realms of the human spirit. This exhibition is a progressing narrative, unfolding in three series of artworks, each honoring an aspect of our innermost lives and the unspoken stories that shape our existence.

In her Memories are the Antidotes series, Rana uses fabrics to create ‘memory pods.’ They are encapsulated in polyurethane, then inserted into organic wood forms, embodying the powerful desire to protect and preserve memories. In the Destiny series, Rana follows and expands upon the paths of termite infestations in pillar-like segments of trees, drawing out an accelerated transcription of the wood’s destiny. Each piece is then marked with nodes that obliquely reference a janam patri (Vedic astrological birth chart). Rana’s third series, Healing, was informed by firsthand experiences with the process of recovery, of the body becoming whole and well again. The wood is charred with flame, its surface symbolizing resilience and the transformative power of healing.

Rana’s practice is rooted in ecology and sustainability; she works with local trees, transforming naturally felled trunks into abstract sculptures. She cuts, grinds and carves into them, bringing to light the inner patterns that trace their life histories. Central to Rana’s work is the interplay between that which is dangerous and delicate. While the main tools for sculpting with wood – chainsaws, handsaws, and a torch – require extreme care, many of the artist’s works are completed in the social space of her home dinner table, where she creates additional elements from domestic and intimate materials, such as fabric from saris or bluejeans.

Images above: Moonlight, wood, memory pods, aluminum

Image: Wave II, wood, charred, memory pods

Priyanka Rana, Wave II scupture, wood crest with charred inside and colorful nods