Artist Statement: Mermaids Dream of Wings
I am an immigrant. I grew up in India and now live in America. The process of moving to a new place is also the process of becoming the “other” by severing with the past in pursuit of a future. When I read stories of people having to flee, and of forced migrations, my most intimate access to their experience is through evoking my own, and building on it in my imagination, with the published details of their lives.
In the series Mermaids Dream of Wings, I try to capture that flight from home: the mythical place where you are comfortable in your own skin, to a place where you’ve lost your tongue and don’t speak the language. A place that is scary and hopeful at the same time, a place that demands you learn new gestures. A place where new wings may sprout, given a chance, a place where you need to reimagine your story, a story that becomes a map for the future.
I paint and tell stories to imagine that map and to make sense of my worlds, past, present and future.