I have been meaning to upload more images of artwork that came out of the Ireland residency and this took a while!
Painting, cutting and arranging these pieces took up most of the time but i also wanted it to be accompanied by the correct artist statement to go with it.
SO here goes-
Through cutting, transforming and installation, I will re-imagine physical two dimensional entities to make sense of female mythologies and the ways in which these ideologies frame identities of our current society. Smoke and Ember is a reflection of my journey to break down power constructs that have continuously ostracized the very things that I identify with: otherness, and my femininity. Through engaging social commentary, my hope is to reclaim and dismantle stereotypes surrounding the stories of our foremothers through the reworking of how we see them-lives of the oppressed that are silenced and worshiped in the same breath.
So excited to share our third day with you all! I am not going to be able to produce and upload these videos in real time, sorry! Jeane and I visited the hill of Uisneach. Rosemarie Langtry, an artist from Athlone generously organized this entire trip for us. We even got to spend the night in a yurt! (I didn’t know what a yurt was!)
The Hill of Uisneach has played a part in just about every significant Irish event, be it political, cultural, religious, mythological and geographical. The centre of Ireland in many ways, the enigmatic hill is one of the most sacred and historic sanctuaries in the world and a perfect place for Goddesses to meet and celebrate! What happens when artists, historians, druids and life coaches meet?! A fire festival!
Day 2 was a day of adventure! We went to Newgrange, an ancient neolithic site. Rich in ancient symbology, this site is located 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of Drogheda on the north side of the River Boyne. It was built around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
As I am getting ready for my upcoming artist residency, I am working on Draupadi- The woman who was born from fire, the woman who was disrobed, the woman who vowed vengeance.
She was featured in the Mahabharata as a very important character. Here is the latest version of my artwork. I wanted emphasis on her hair, fire and her disrobing. I also wanted to convey her not being able to tell her story.
So excited! Our residency to Ireland is in a month! As Jeane and I get ready to travel, I am writing my musings down. Ireland is a foreign land, unknown to me. The journey will unearth the mystery and the experience, I hope will produce new work. Why do we tell stories? What are the rituals that create culture? These are some of the questions I am exploring with this residency.
I am a storyteller. I have grown up surrounded by my mother and father who told innumerable stories. I fell asleep in my Dad’s arms listening to his voice recount the stories of the Indian Gods and Goddesses. No ritual was complete, food prepared without my Mom rooting it in ancient stories. Why do women wear the bindi? Why did the goddess have a hundred hands? What is the metaphor and how can it be practiced in daily life?
Rituals that I grew up around involve all the five senses- colorful images, incense sticks, new clothes, delicious food and chanting mantras. Each culture is tied in its own rituals. Ritual touches every part of the human experience. What are your family’s rituals? If you would like to share, please leave them, in the comments below. Include some modern ones!
Here is a video of my current work….