As an interdisciplinary artist, my artistic research is centered on exploring and uncovering narratives of becoming, personhood and the radicality of imagination that Punjabi Sikh women, in my life, have cultivated. More recently, through the artistic exploration of a scrap fabric collection of traditional, cultural garments that goes back decades in my family, I bring together modes of being and becoming. Navigating forms of braiding, tying, knotting, as well as sewing and reconstructing, these fabrics serve as the groundwork in approaching the complexities, resilience and strength these women carry in their limitlessness. The recognition of our being here in what we know to be “Canada” is weighted by stories of struggle, displacement and adaptation. My art is created in attempts for paving space for our voices to be amplified, our experiences shared and reckoned with through celebration.
In working with textiles, specifically those that are tied to Punjabi culture more broadly, I am physicalizing relationship to my heritage and identity through storytelling by way of creative expression. My research is embedded in lived experiences and informed by an anti-racism lens; amplifying stories of otherwise marginalized communities. As told to me by my elders, our community has pushed for space so that these stories may exist. With the art-making that ensues from the story-work, I build upon my own understandings and narratives of self and personhood. My creative works become the ground for reflexivity of “home” through experiences of the women who came together to form the fabric of our being.
I find crucial meaning in community, connection and dialogue in the art world. I firmly believe in expansive possibilities of learning through different modes of creating. In a way, the networks we find ourselves in as artists, the array of mediums we explore in, carry even greater potential to conceptualize other-worlds and imaginative spaces.
I always hope to find ways to better reach my community and family with the art I create and I realize that this process will always be in motion. Although the archive of scrap fabrics I have been working with most recently is finite, there are countless stories to be told and uncovered that extend beyond the scope of any singular iteration or installation of my art. I see this as a beautiful reflection of the limitlessness of our beings as Punjabi Sikh women. Understanding the vast modalities of making and the connectedness that my hands have with the research that comes from my work is what excites me about the futurity of my practice. In continuing this journey, I am reminded that finding your community and giving back to it is crucial for imagining better, more equitable futures.
Sublime are The Imaginative Forces Within Us.