Artwork Title: 49 Years and Everything in Between
I am a person who has resided in three countries, India, Qatar and Australia. The sculpture is built as a tribute to my grandfather as he moved countries for work. Now this helps me explore my own identity due to migration. This sculptural assemblage embodies symbols of travel, an old suitcase that frames the elements of the sculpture. The fries that has been constructed from digitally manipulated paper refers to my memories of fast food in Qatar, the iconic building the Burj Doha and integrating into the design my mother tongue Malayalam script; ‘homeland’, as I had lived there most of my life. Elements also include a quilled Ganesh, an iconic part of the Hindu and Indian culture. Decorating the idol varying to its original, I present it as my personal view looking back at India. The paper flowers are photocopied documents required for me to enter Australia. Constructing them as flowers was to incorporate the festival of Onam, important festival in my state. The gold Marvahatho, an object used in the Syrian orthodox Christian rituals during mass and manipulating an element of it to a travel stamp ties it back to its symbolic travel components. The process and techniques was mostly, found objects, laser cutting, paper construction and adobe illustrator. A major part of the process was to learn and adapt unfamiliar skills used for the construction of the sculpture; applying gold leaf, learning to quill, constructing objects from paper, and adapting skills of illustrator to create the carvings needed for the laser cutter. The purpose of the sculpture was to portray the rich cultural heritage that overtime absorbed more and developed looking back from a migrated student’s point of view. My major artistic influence was Mohammad Hafez’s work as he celebrates the past of his own country.