Stitches of Matriarchy - Baa by Shivani M Vyas
At 13, she was married into a family that lived in Bombay. Her husband had three children with his first wife. As Baa was small when they got married, she would play games such as hide & seek with her step children. By her mid twenties, she had four children of her own. In this piece, the embroidery signifies how she was as a person - vibrant and bold as brass. She was short and had a hump on the back, she would walk barefoot from Khar to Siddhivinayak Temple till the time she was physically able to. Baa believed in ‘Seva’, act of service. In her early fifties, she became a widow and only wore white till the end. The lacing of white paper around her photograph embodies the time when women were barred from wearing colour if their spouse was no more. I was lucky enough to have my few moments with her documented, sitting on the bed and following her steps as she rubbed chewing tobacco on her palms
Medium : Embroidery, acrylic ink and archival prints on canvas
Size : 15" x 15"
Edition : Unique
Framing : Framed (ships unframed outside Mumbai)
Artwork is signed by the artist
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Shivani M Vyas is a British-Indian filmmaker, photographer & visual artist. Her work maps across analogue photography, embroidery and archival prints. She is the founder of Chhokri Films, a platform which mentors and teaches children self expression through moving and still images. Alongside her work, she is currently pursuing an honorary degree in Sociology and Ethnographic Film.