Dube, like most other elite Indian artists use the oxymoron in her pieces of work.

Employing a variety of found objects drawn from the realms of the industrial (foam, plastic, wire), craft (thread, beads, velvet), the body (dentures, bone), and the readymade (ceramic eyes), Dube investigates a very human concern with both personal and societal loss and regeneration.



Her most famous one being, ‘Silence (Blood Wedding)’ entails her wrapping  an actual skeleton and all the detailed bones with velvet.

In 1997, Dube began working with a new material, the industrially manufactured ceramic eyes that are affixed to Hindu religious statues commonly found in Indian temples. She initially used these variably sized eyes in site-specific ways, attaching them to the spot in a room where the ceiling meets two walls to form a corner, as in ‘Intimations of Mortality’.


In works such as Disease (River) (1999), the ceramic eyes began to move, branching out across the wall like a virus or a flooding river. Although her work evokes a number of meanings, one can think about these wall pieces in terms of the various modes of human migration in the contemporary world. As Dube suggests, “The eyes are like people for me and this could speak of large migrations in history.” In this light, the eyes take on less of a horror-film quality and instead stand in metonymically for the mass of humanity that has been forced to relocate due to political persecution, economic deprivation, or the relentless effects of global development that push people from the countryside into the city. This use of the sculptural fragment to subtly invoke a humanist critical agenda speaks to her uncompromising desire to tangentially address the social through metaphorical means.

I like the way she brings beauty, texture and richness to objects are mostly considered ‘gross’.