Location: Kirksville, MO, United States
My artwork is intrinsically tied to my own family’s photographic legacy and my move at age 18, a few years after the death of my parents, from India to the United States. Before I emigrated, my sister and I split our photographic inheritance arbitrarily and irreparably in half. One portion remained with her, and the other was displaced along with me, here in America. For the past decade, this archive of family photographs has been my primary source material in creating bodies of work investigating my own migration and the challenges of cross-cultural understanding – using the lens of memory to provide a personal perspective on the fragmentation of family, identity, and culture that are part of the migrant experience.
In this series, Buttons for Eyes, the rules appear to be bending. Natural light, always a key ingredient in my work, becomes another material to manipulate; spilt into sparks, smeared into rainbows or shimmering back from the depths of powdered pigments, the light’s new-found mercurial nature is a clue to the rest. It tells us that though this work mythologizes the past and present it also plays game with them. It winks, pokes and inverts- suggesting joyousness, mixed with the loss and regret that accompanies us all.