150 NATALS

Indo-Portuguese houses are an important part of Goan cultural ethos. Most houses were constructed in the second half of the 19th century. Most Catholics paint the exterior of their houses annually before Christmas (Natal in Portuguese). There is a large dilapidated house, belonging to the Gomes family, which is over 150 years old. This house must have received at least 150 coats of lime. The first 30 years or so it was painted white, followed by about 40 layers of lime mixed with indigo. The following generations decided to use red oxide. For the last fifty years the house has received coats of yellow ochre. In this work, Subodh Kerkar use cut-out pieces of the wall that reveal the house’s coloured history through carvings. ‘150 Natals’ is a mnemonic device, evocative of a hundred and fifty Christmas celebrations by the Gomes family.