pallu, pattu


Digital photo print on paper

14 x 14 inches


20  Nair, Par, pallu pattu, digital photo art.jpg

My art-based research relies on treating life experience as multiple, new knowledge creation and the importance of storytelling through the acknowledgement of ancestral knowleges. Using digital collages that mix realities I attempt to tell stories about ritual, hair braiding, symmetry, pattern and discipline. Stories about mothers and grandmothers, about monsters, about memory, about loss and longing. By othering the viewer, my work is a play on expectations and translations of racialized and migrant bodies. It recognizes the effects of assimilation and loss of culture within an immigrant experience and centers the body as a fragmented and hybrid archive of dualities. It calls for safe spaces of communal healing while creating avenues for new narratives and excluded voices to be realized. It makes note of oppressive structures and attempts to undo colonial damage.


Through research that utilizes decolonial methods I wish to investigate melancholy in diaspora by working with with cherished objects and memories from my past. “pallu, pattu” is a photo collage with my mother’s saree, hair and white shoelace. This work celebrates different cultural objects reaching toward each other to become and take space as a hybrid object which may speak to experiences of diaspora. Themes of duality, repetition and symmetry are also explored. 


The yearning for a singular idealized home or reality within a migrant journey and eventual loss and longing felt by migrant bodies become the overarching themes, focal point and love language of my practice.