Brimful of Asha
In November I had the honor and privilege of being a small part of a three-week artist residency organized by Stefan Eicher of Reflection Art Gallery and Studios in Delhi, India. The theme of the residency was “Gender Injustice and Reconciliation” in regards to the FAR less than equal and too often BRUTAL treatment of women in daily Hindi society.
My time there was without a doubt amazing. It was also very challenging. The topic was easy for me to detach myself from, thinking “this is not my problem” and I realized very quickly that for this experience to be rife with meaning I could do nothing less than put myself in the mindset of the men of that society. How does a society evolve in such a way that allows women to be treated so poorly? How do men justify themselves? How do women not band together in protest? These were only a few of the questions swirling through my mind. In the end I found no answers but was able to be a part of positive change in that society through the exhibition and public protest.
India is a place that lives and breathes contradiction in nearly every sense of the word. I can’t think of a single moment where opposing forces did not exist side by side. I reveled in it. A sublime landscape with a defecating man or piles of trash and animal dung at the steps of a centuries old temple; I could go on and on.
In our western culture we talk in terms of “either/or” in a way of separating and categorizing. In eastern culture there is a seamless acceptance of “both/and.” My newest work is trying to be just that - both/and.