Padma Naidu: Wandering Wonders Incensed : Dunedin Fringe Festival

Padma Naidu: Wandering Wonders Incensed

Ruby Bay, Te Tauihu

Exhibition Visual Art

A meditative piece with repeated imagery inviting the viewer to be still and reflect or respond with their own art form

Ruby Bay, Te Tauihu

I am an Indo-Fijian artist who migrated to Aotearoa with my family in the mid-1970s.

My mobile lifestyle influences the choice of materials I use to make art. The two primary concerns when choosing materials are: they need to be easily transportable or locally available, AND that no waste is created. In this instance I used incense sticks to make marks on silk organza. Incense burns through the fabric, evaporating as smoke. While there is no physical waste created, a self-critique of my work is that the burning of fabric releases carbon into the air. Therefore, my process is not totally waste free.

The use of fabric is important in this project: scale, movement, clothing (our second skin), which is the minimal belonging we travel with. I chose 5.5 metres of silk organza, a common length for saris, to chart wonders wandering through my mind. Likewise, incense - a plant-based aromatic - was chosen as a drawing tool. The burning of incense references ceremonial rituals where they are used to create ambience, dispel odours, cleanse and communicate to spirits.

Wandering Wonders Incensed is the result of a daily ritual over 30 days performed in my studio. Our minds wonder and wander, so I wanted to reflect this observation visually. It ended up being my meditative practice over this period.

Waves, ripples and creases of the fabric inform where to start and finish. Marks made tangle and twine, connect and disconnect, with perforations conglomerating, transforming the geometry of line to plane, then ... a pause from ‘drawing’ ... a pause to rest, stand back, reflect before continuing to ‘wonder and wander’.

Now, I'd like to invite both audience and artists to respond. Please send responses via email to: or chat to me when I'm on location (Wed 15 - Fri 17 March).


12noon - 6pm daily



All Ages


Dunedin Pride x Fringe Hub

26 Princes st Dunedin

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