I was born in the UK to Indian parents. My Mother was born in India
(Delhi) and my Father was born in Kenya (Nairobi).
As a child, art was a form of escapism; a magical gift to let my imagination run wild. I would paint on the walls at home and collect an array of objects to make art. I was enchanted by gemstones and minerals and my mother’s jewellery box was my treasure chest. I would adorn myself with her jewellery, sparkly bangles and bindis.
Every Sunday my Papa would take me to the temple where I would have Indian classical dance lessons (Kathak). I would wear bells around my ankles and dance to the beat of the Tabla.
My Indian heritage is an important part of my identity and has profoundly influenced my approach to art. Growing up near Southall meant I was neighboured within an Indian community and surrounded by lots of colours, wonderful fabrics music, dance, food and festivals.
"Sometimes we're forced in directions
we ought to have found for ourselves." Maid In Manhattan
When I was coming to end of my first year of teaching I was faced with the shocking news of my best friend having cancer. She passed away within 4 months of being told this devastating news. This left me and many loved ones in a lot of pain, not only did I lose my best friend- I had lost my soul mate. I decided to pack my bags and go on a solo backpacking trip to South East Asia. It was during this time I allowed myself time to heal, it is also why I decided to start sharing my art.
I will always remember the last words Carys left for those she loved.
"grab life with both hands".
My tattoo symbolises a new beginning and marks the journey of when I decided to start sharing my art with the world. It is rich with Hindu symbolism that is meaningful to me, and also plays an important part in my art practice and how I understand the world.
The Aum (Om) symbol is significant as it identifies the different states of consciousness. I try to bring this awareness to my own practice. It also offers me stillness and a reflective space as for me painting is a spiritual journey, and a continuous dialogue between the Artist and the Artwork.