A Specter is a signifier for memories from which we cannot escape. A Talisman is a magical object which embodies hope and optimism.
These are metaphors that reflect my feeling that a handmade object can function as a tactile, pre-verbal carrier of meaning. Within its specificity there is a story of one’s lived, proprioceptive experience, through which its thingness acts as the conveyor for human emotions such as love, empathy, optimism, grief or rage. This particularity–the recollection and the story– is the basis for my work which is informed by my childhood in a high demand religious group and boarding school in India.
My studio practice consists of a hybrid between painting and fiber art. I work with oil paint on canvas or linen, watercolor on paper, and various types of yarn, wool, needles, and hand-made apparatuses and frames. I was rooted in Oakland, California for twenty years before relocating to Portland, Oregon in 2015. This was a big transition which greatly affected my sense of place, and my studio environment changed along with my approach. While previous investigations involved creating remembered pictorial landscapes as frames for psychological spaces, my current work further asks what it is about work that arises from the body-memory. That is to say, the residual adaptations that occur from a somatic response to a particular experience.
Through pictorial and object-based making, I mine these personal experiences in order to convey the things embedded within my own body-memory in order to evoke broader questions about the porous sensitivity and the resilience of the human psyche.