solo show: to build a house on a hill
O Connor Gallery, Dominican University, River Forest IL
Working with text and textile, I investigate my inheritance of craft and story. Using found and worn fabric as portals to living and lost ancestors, I grapple with generational entanglement and distance. My materials are sourced as katran or scraps from my grandmother’s tailor in Mumbai. They are pieced together and quilted to replicate patterns of conversations; their materiality replicates bids for connection, a longing, an invitation for tender holding. Additionally, transparency and texture play a key role in the details of the work. I hide discarded thread in transparent pockets, masking much away from view.
In each quilt I embroider a microstory: exploring the memory of my grandmother, stories of my mother’s childhood, stories that both haunt me and made my existence possible. I embroider the text in cycles, hard to read. I hope that my viewer navigates them as the misreading and confusion of processing a family story over time: when you first hear it as a child, when you recognize the elements as you repeat it, as you grow, and again when considering the impact of what was passed down – and subsequently what you may pass down to your next generation.
My process involves laborious hand piecing, applique and hand quilting, such that I engage deeply with each scrap. In these flights of reconnection, I imagine the journeys of those that wear the remainders of these fabrics. In the quilt star strings, I repeat the motif of an orbit and weave a phrase across them, a phrase that embodies both a yearning for and a reminder of the inherent connection I have with the women in my lineage and beyond - the women from and of the land that I am from and of.