‘There is this stupendous thing of beauty called Compassion: and therefore the world exists’.

Figure It Out - Lewisham Arthouse 2021

Over the last year Divya has started to learn to read and write her mother tongue Tamil in an attempt to reconnect with her heritage. One example of this is the ‘Tirukkural’ (meaning sacred verses). It is a collection of writings that consists of 1330 short couplets or ‘Kurals’ and is dated to around 300 BC.

Kural 571 says ‘There exists this stupendous beauty called compassion; and therefore, the world exists’. Divya takes inspiration from this quote for her next body of work to talk about the concept of care. What does the aesthetics of care look like today that might drive our artistic practises, formally and materially. How do ideas of care and love transform into the aesthetics of protest.
Connecting back to her histories of her family and care, she reflects on the similarities between the conditions during the current pandemic in India and the plague in early 1900s that killed almost 15 million people. Her paternal grandfather, a medical doctor who lost his father to the plague, relocated in 1920 from Bombay to a tiny village in the South of India to care for and serve patients suffering from the plague.

In the film ‘You will always be with me’ Divya uses the body as masquerade, body that refuses to be recognised, refuses categorisation. She unravels scenes from invented futures at the same time alludes to ancestors, forms of divinity and monstrosity. She references both south Asian iconography and Goddess cults and asserts herself as a member of the black diasporic community.