‘We’d like much more feminine artists and feminine photographers’, say…

‘We’d like much more feminine artists and feminine photographers’, say…

Akshita Gandhi says colonialism and modern-day censorship are on the forefront of a brand new multimedia artwork exhibition which examines post-Independence India.

SYMBOLIC: Akshita Gandhi (Picture: akshitagandhi.org)

Jap Eye

A Love Letter to My Dwelling is a multimedia artwork exhibition from Akshita Gandhi which examines concepts of residence and identification. It combines conventional images, blended media work and audio works. The exhibition is a love letter to Mumbai and Udaipur, the place the photographs had been taken. “It’s symbolic, as a result of India completes 75 years of independence after it was colonised by the British…exploring the ideas of residence and belonging has been a journey that I’ve been questioning for a few years,” she stated.

Gandhi, 34, was born and grew up in Mumbai, the place she now works. For her, selecting town for the topic of her exhibition was an extra extension of her personal experiences dwelling there. “I lived right here, however I studied in an American college…it was like waking up and going into a special tradition and a special system, then coming residence to a really conventional patriarchal society,” she stated.

An artwork work by Akshita Gandhi

Gandhi’s expertise of transferring away for school after which briefly overseas additionally helped encourage the musical a part of her exhibition. Beginning with conventional Indian prayers, the music then transforms right into a extra up to date type, mirroring India’s growing modernisation.

In addition to her music and mixed-media photos, she’s additionally making ready a particular intallation for the London leg of the exhibition’s tour. Gandhi is engaged on a bit incorporating a blue tarpaulin, an emblem of each wealthy and poor India, exhibiting the customarily sudden hyperlinks between the 2. “The blue tarp is so symbolic in Bombay visually, as a result of it’s utilized by low revenue homes to cowl their roofs and by wealthy residential buildings to cowl theirs throughout the monsoon,” she stated.

Whereas Gandhi has been engaged on the venture since 2016, the independence anniversary and India’s current financial progress prompted the exhibition’s present launch. Particularly, the current crackdowns on freedom of speech within the nation makes Gandhi and others question how free the nation is 75 years post-independence. “After we discuss India’s identification right now, it is very important realise the query nonetheless stays, are we actually free?,” she stated.

The current racial politics and its ensuing violence has seen teams equivalent to Muslims focused by hardline nationalists. For Gandhi, it has unnerving parallels to the post-independence violence throughout and after the late Forties.

“I’m a Hindu and I’m married to a Muslim, so it’s very actual for me…it’s one thing that’s near residence,” she stated. Nonetheless, she additionally hopes that this exhibition will assist unite folks and present a special aspect to India.

When independence occurred, the following partition of the nation into India and what are actually Pakistan and Bangladesh had a big impact. Refugees fleeing in each instructions over the border skilled ethnic violence which killed many individuals. This alteration from turmoil to financial triumph has arguably been the largest change to the nation previously 75 years.

For Gandhi, whereas this financial progress has been signal, more moderen developments present to her that the progress isn’t all good. “Shedding freedom of speech or not having the ability to query the institution are issues which irks you as an artist,” she stated.

With the post-independence undercurrent within the exhibition, London was an apparent internet hosting selection for Gandhi. As the previous seat of the British Empire and by extension, the place India was dominated from, her work good points further significance. “We had been colonised by the British, a lot of our post-colonial identification, a lot of our structure and the work I’ve captured, is influenced by the structure that was left behind by the British,” she stated.

In addition to encouraging folks from all backgrounds to see the exhibition, Gandhi needs to make use of it to enhance feminine illustration in Indian artwork. “I undoubtedly and really strongly imagine that we’d like much more feminine artists and feminine photographers, and so they undoubtedly have to be represented, and so they undoubtedly have to be proven,” she stated.

The exhibition is on on the Nehru Centre in Mayfair from late Might (23) and runs for 4 days earlier than heading on a world tour