Jasleen Kaur’s ‘The first thing I did was to kiss the ground‘ is part of the England’s Creative Coast Waterfronts commissions. Jasleen’s art work explores Gravesend’s rich and complex history of migration. Situated on the mouth of the Thames, the town connects London to the rest of the world.
Jasleen’s work is in two parts, a sculpture and a sound-piece that will be sited close to one another right on the water’s edge. The sculpture is a large scale semi-abstract form resembling a Sikh head that takes its inspiration from the decorative processional ‘Palki’ floats that feature in Sikh celebrations. Jasleen’s sound-based work grew out of time she spent in the local studies archive of Gravesend library gathering information about marginalised communities, in particular feeling a kinship to the Gravesend‘s Saheli Women’s culture of ‘supplementary schooling to learn mother tongue, prayer, thought, instruments and religious song’. Her piece explores the Saheli Women’s histories through their sound culture, working in collaboration with the sound artist Ain Bailey.