Artist Statement

IMG_20181014_201517_223My work is about my identity as a woman and its relation to India and the world outside India. I have grown up in half Sikh and half Hindu family making my faith ambiguous. Our identities, in India, have a very strong tie with religion as it determines a lot of lifestyle decisions-from what to wear to what to eat. The vastness of this country contributes to certain variants to the style of living but not the principles. 

 My mother is a Hindu and watching her growing up and the other women in our neighbourhood, I was always fascinated by the way all married women dressed up- rich saris, bangles, sindoor (vermilion powder put along the parting of the hair as a marital symbol), kohl (used along the edge of the eyes). My aesthetics sense has been fuelled by these everyday rituals of dressing up.  

 Through my work, I am exploring the relationship between women and these daily objects of adornment. The material that I use to create work is used very meaningfully and with a lot of respect. Putting together different objects in a certain way and making artwork with them becomes another story in itself. I wish to explore cultural objects and their relationship with human beings along with faith, religion and emotions. I try to look at these concepts in as many perspectives as I can. 

My process is intuitive, working instinctively with no preconceived notion of the end image. I work exclusively with sindoor, kohl and henna. There is spontaneity in the way I choose my material with the aim of creating feminine visual energy and dialogues suggesting my relationship to myself and the physical world I live in.

Somya Dhiman