hand bent steel round bars,HD-video 20 second loop
(details) kumkum and watercolor on paper, 18 inches x 24 inches
words of a poet
2018, ongoing
This work is inspired by a poem written in 1942, by a Telugu poet, describing my great grandmother (జేజమ్మ). The poem was published in her obituary. Kumkum applied as thilakam (తిలకం) or sindoor is a sign of marriage used by Hindu women.

The poet visualizes జేజమ్మ looking into a mirror as she applies her తిలకం/she sees a reflection of her husband instead / she was faithful to her husband’s words, he says/ she was a woman who authored a divine history of her own/ she wore his words as flowers on a garland/ she fulfilled them as a ritual/ she performed, he says, as a dutiful wife

In this work, a reading of the poem by my grandmother, sister and I is overlaid by an animation of hand bent steel rods. The visual forms used in this work are composed by deconstructing the Telugu word ధర్మశీల (dharmaseela).