OCA tutors: Nalini – An exhibition by Arpita Shah
I’m OCA Photography tutor Arpita Shah and I’ve got a solo exhibition opening up this week at Impressions Gallery in Bradford.
Nalini is a long-term project that I have been developing across India, Kenya and UK since 2015. It focuses on my maternal lineage and explores migration, memory and loss.
The series centres on my mother, my grandmother and myself and explores the intimacy, distance and tensions between generations of India-born women that have all grown up and lived across various continents and cultures.
Nalini is my grandmother’s name so the story begins with her and was inspired by her. She was born in India but spent most of her childhood in Kenya, before moving back to India. Although I visit her in India every couple of years, I realised how little I really knew about what she was like as a young woman, her memories, experiences and what her relationships were like with her own mother and daughter. Each year she get’s more frail, more forgetful and more distant – so I started this project to learn more about her, my mother and my female ancestors, because I wanted to feel closer to them.
The exhibition comprises of portraits that physically connect me to my mother and grandmother’s maternal bodies, still lifes of sacred objects and family archives that have been passed down through generations, as well as images of flora and landscapes that hold special significance for the women in my family.
You can read more about the exhibition at Impressions Gallery, Bradford at the link below. The exhibition will be running from 17 Jan – 28 March 2020 and I’ll also be doing an artist talk on Saturday 22nd February. The exhibition opening is on Thursday 16 January from 6-8pm; so if there are any photographers based in West Yorkshire, feel free to pop along and come and say Hi! All Welcome.
Images: Nalini © Arpita Shah