(Shekah, to learn)
I am a fine art photographer and I wanted to share a recent project I have been working on.
I wanted to look into the lost part of my family history through the art of handcrafted weaving. Weaving for me was more than a craft but a process that linked my artistic practice to my heritage. Through this project, I learnt about the variety of weaving processes and materials that can be used.
I started off wanting to consider the lack of significance weaving has been given as an art form, being seen as an old domestic craft instead. I wanted to give it a better light within contemporary art. I wanted to include elements of my Bengali culture within each strip of the photograph I wove. Weaving can be perceived as limitless in its capacity and ideas.
Producing a scarf came as a challenge, due to the fine line between the hijab and religion, which I didn’t want to tread on. The reason my final product was labeled as a scarf was to allow its accessibility to everyone.
Working on this project has made me ask the question, why weaving? I am a handcraft artist, and have been from a very young age. I do origami, I stich, and I weave. I weave as my way of connecting with my heritage. Through weaving I am a part of this lost family history.
In the western world we live in, our culture can be lost. But I have this culture filled with so much tradition. Weaving is part of that. I hope to teach the world this tradition and culture that I am still learning about. I want to tell the world, and I owe it to my heritage; that’s why I weave.
This is an unfinished project, with many more branches of ideas to come, but I wanted to share this with others and take you all on my creative process with me.
(Shekah, to learn)
শিখা (Shekah, to learn) as the name suggests, is a body of work that highlights the process of learning. In this project, the artist further explores her lost family history of weaving. Combined with her love for handcrafts and photographic explorations, she produces work that is both aesthetically pleasing with a unique methodology.
Using archive images of her mother in her youth, she creates intricately detailed woven prints using a variety of materials to create digitally printed artifacts. Intrigued by the use of textile manipulations, she explores the tactile nature of weaving and its relationship to the very texture of the fabric.
শিখা challenges the expectations of what we perceive a weaver to be. A weaver is an artist, storyteller and creator. Both through analogue and digital, all of which are explored thorough this image making process.
While restoring the age-old craft of weaving in a contemporary setting, she works to honour this lost tradition and find her own identity as a fine artist.