Solah Shringhar in Hindi means sola (16) shringhar (beautification)

The 16 steps of beautification / adornment of a woman during formal occasions are:

  1. Braiding of hair and decorating with flowers

  2. A gold pendant worn in the middle of the forehead with gold chains anchoring it to the hair

  3. Sindoor: vermilion applied in the front end of the middle hair parting

  4. Tilak: a dot of vermilion between or just above the eyebrows

  5. Kajal: kohl applied on the borders of the eyelids

  6. A nose ring, usually not a stud but an elaborate one, with a chain going to the ear

  7. Gold danglers worn in the ears

  8. Necklace, of gold or gold and jet stones

  9. An arm band made of gold

  10. Chudi: bangles, glass and gold some with precious stones

  11. Mehendi: henna on the hands feet

  12. An elaborate gold network of rings and gold chains partially covering the back of the hand

  13. Ring

  14. Kamarband: a waistband made of gold

  15. Payal: anklets made of gold or silver with little bells on them

  16. Toe ring

Through cutting, transforming and installation, I re-imagine physical two dimensional entities to make sense of ideologies of appearance as they frame identities of women. Solah Shringhar is a reflection of my understanding of women and how their feminity and adornment are used against them when they are sexualized. They very adornment that defines them comes into question when they are subjected to violence. Through engaging social commentary, my hope is to reclaim and dismantle stereotypes by reworking conventional imagery into abstract objects - ultimately redefining the context of feminity and how our lives are lived and celebrated. I want to challenge the idea of female mythologies and the ways in which these ideologies frame identities of our current society. Solah Shringhar is my attempt to break down power constructs that have continuously ostracized the very things that I identify with: otherness, and my femininity. I created this series 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.