The tiffin carrier, a stainless steel food container, is an everyday object from India that Arpana Rao has placed centrally within her practice as a visual artist. It is an object which harnesses multiple associations and narratives from its engagement with movement/journey, food and social spaces. Tapping into these different aspects of the object’s social reach, Rao has produced a series of prints created by etching on to and applying ink to the surface of various types of metal sheets. The series illustrates the nature of the tiffin carrier and documents its power as a social object. The tiffin carrier finds its own voice, facilitating cultural exchange as communities gather around it to eat and to talk.
A collection of prints and engraved metal sheets are on show at The Umbrella Café. A number of tiffin carriers have also been installed within the space, creating a dialogue with and drawing attention to the surrounding environment of social relations, food and collectivity. There is no better place to accommodate the tiffin carrier than The Umbrella Café, a community space.