2019 - Ongoing
In Sanskrit, nā́rī means woman, wife, female, or an object regarded as feminine but can also mean sacrifice. For the project nā́rī, I researched villages in India that have small communities of women who use fabric and embroidery as a way of gaining financial freedom. I traveled to Lucknow, Jaipur and Chamkaur Sahib where I photographed and interviewed several women from these communities. By gaining access to these individuals I was able to ask them about their thoughts on patriarchal structures of Indian society and about their harsh economic and social realities.
From these conversations, I decided to create artworks where the women embroidered on top of their portraits that were shot and printed on the fabric used in the women’s specific communities.
These artistic collaborations subvert the idea of the artist as the main producer by giving each woman her own creative entity within her own commercial craft. It also engages the problem of representation in portrait photography as addressed by giving women control over their image.
By traveling to these women's private spaces I seek an understanding that is only possible with my presence and collaboration that creates a connection within our shared language of art; by listening, I learn the true meaning of nā́rī.