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

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. I present my experience of growing up in India, where female adornment through mythologies and lived experiences define identity. Through experimentation between abstract and representation, I cut paper into patterns that fragment and unite the female body. Often, there are clear references to a body part like hair, neck and torso. At other times the patterns are abstract and disconnected and are more suggestions of emotions and sensations like touch and smell. By combining these two styles, I create environments that depict familiarity and otherness. The act of cutting out the paper reflects my perspective of partly told stories- silenced voices of women and how their femininity and adornment are used against them when they are sexualized. Rather than create portraits based on appearance, I use a violent method- knives to cut out the very adornment that defines femininity.

This exhibit brings together an immersive, multi part installation that is organized by visual complexity and relationship of individual elements to each other. Large and small representative and abstract symbols establish a progression to encourage the exploration of patterns, forms and the overall theme that I consider in my work. Through engaging social commentary, my hope is to dismantle and reclaim stereotypes surrounding female stories through the reworking of how we see them⏤lives of the oppressed that are silenced and worshiped in the same breath.