Embroidery as Map and Shelter
My current body of work employs traditional and contemporary adaptations of embroidery techniques to explore mapping, migration, archive and identity. When I began my studio practice in London, ON, at Western, in September 2016, I bought fabric from thrift stores to address my interest in including the touch of local people within my projects. Fusing this material with other fabric from India and elsewhere in Canada offered me a very special layered surface for my art works, and a way to acknowledge my new location. The traditional Japanese embroidery technique, Bunka, and the use of the recto and verso of the embroidery that invokes the importance of each side, enhanced my desire to link the knowns and the unknowns of my experience visually. Interestingly, in my first works made in Canada, embroidered landscapes appear as the motif, rendered in white and blue and grey thread, creating map-like spaces.
Because of my living and travel throughout India, and also to England, before coming to London, ON, a sense of “temporary presence” was an important thought in my mind and I wanted a way to reflect that idea in my work, as well. The tent therefore became a key image for me, as well as a very interesting and important architectural form.