Healing. Beauty. Strength. Complexity. Clarity. Integrity. Play.
New Delhi, 1975
Sometime in 1978
I used to make images. Now I make Art. The way artists whom I admire make art: with dedication, practice, long-visions, desires.
Growing up, clothes were a refuge. I knew myself through what I wore. My clothing spoke of me to others when no other voice came through. I made North American style statements in the monsoons and wore floral pants in the bitter cold. I always stood out for what felt like the wrong reasons. Dressing myself became my comfort, my words when I didn't have them. A studded dog collar, a fully buttoned up polka dot shirt, a home-sewn dress,... I was an extremely quiet child. But my styles changed like the seasons, like very identity itself.
Today I ask: What can fashion do for us? What can clothes uncover? What can this everyday-ordinariness give us? What are the experiences of migration, settlement, adjustment and resistance that stain, crease, fade and rip beyond repair?
Like breathing, clothing is an essential part of life. But no two people breathe in the same way. Our pasts, presents and our futures are a closet of clothes: uncomfortable, beautiful, necessary, instructive and seldom but sometimes perfect.