Uyir Eluthukkal II Fabric and embroidery, 2020

 

In May 2020, when my practise became home bound, I had to make some changes in my way of working in order to realise my ideas. When I realised that learning Tamil had such an emotional resonance, I intuitively decided to use that feeling to somehow lead me in my creative process. I started by learning the basics of sewing and making large fabric alphabets from the Tamil alphabet string. This allowed me to make the very abstracted process of learning a familiar yet unfamiliar language more tangible. The labour that went into making them were metaphors for the struggle in learning the language and was a way of embodying it. The large fabric alphabets felt like portals into time connecting my life to the histories of my ancestors. This tied in with my research where I had read about Jewish mysticism which is of the belief that each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew Aleph-Beth is a magical gateway into an entire sphere of existence.