The Kashmir Analogs - Exhibit Aug, 2014
About the Collection:
“Among the many many people I owe thank yous for support (here in the U.S. and in Kashmir), I must give Special Thanks to: Clarke Wine, Chris Pullen, Nelson Guda, Lisa Mackey, Aryeh Margolis, Lakshmi Van Atta, Victoria Roberts, Annie Edgecombe and Joaquin Salazar for making this collection possible to share.”
The Gypsy Triptych – 24″ x 36″ Metallic Paper – Sold!
I met this man herding sheep in a lush valley in Eastern Kashmir. We sat together in clover field and shared some friendly and inquisitive space. We smiled and pointed and conversed with our hands and eyes as we shared no common language. This image to me, is emblematic of the willingness all humans have to connect with others. As well as a reminder that we don’t need common language to connect with another’s story.
This photograph was taken after interviewing a large family of women and children (three generations). All of the women being “half-widows” as they were uncertain if their husband was alive or dead. Thus leaving these women in a perpetual state of vulnerability as they cannot own land, remarry or work as they must take care of the many children in the family. Women in the workforce is not common or socially accepted. This image reminds me of the resilience and drive many of the women exemplified in the face of their daily struggle to feed themselves and their families.
When traveling, brief yet powerful moments often present themselves. I met this young woman and her family while they were hitchhiking over a high and desolate mountain pass. I would have loved to have spent time with this family, but without our knowing, our taxi driver denied them a ride to the next town. We found out they asked for a ride some miles down the road.
While taking a retreat from project work, my mentor and I met a delightful group of children. We spend the day lounging in a brilliant field of clover, doing handstands, throwing stones, and all other things children do. Again, no common language was shared. A gift indeed to have met this family.
Walking through back alleys and neighborhoods of Srinigar, Kashmir was a true delight. The smells of kabob, spices, tea… the hustle and bustle of open aired markets that sell everything from saffron and walnuts to electric blenders. Every corner and every street beheld something unique. This brilliantly painted mosque is emblematic of the flare Kashmiri’s display throughout many aspects of lives.
I was honored enough to share a few coups of hot chai with this man and a few others on a rainy day in an Eastern Kashmiri town. His red beard came about from being dyed with Henna. A practice I assume to indicate the head of a household or clan. We observed red, purple, or orange dyed beards in Elder men, as well as similarly colored strands of hair in Elder women.
In India they say the God that brought life into the world was himself, born in Leh…The first thing God saw when he opened his eyes, was the sky. Henceforth, the god tried and tried to create things in the world as blue as the sky, but never could… It seems his wisdom was not in re-creating the blue sky of Leh, but reflecting it…
Srinagar, Kashmir held many beautiful twists and turns. I came upon this heavy iron door in an alley. I was truly captivated with it’s story. The layers of paint, and the flowing script (written from right to left), share some of the vibrant and cultural diversity the region. The mystical script roughly translates to, “Hotel Kashmir and Restaurant”.
It seems that an artist’s work is inseparable from that artist’s process. This image is a collage of 4 different metallic “test” prints that printed incorrectly. At this time, I was learning to mat and frame prints, and was avid about framing an image that evening in my workshop. So I took the botched prints and cut them to pieces with a surgeon’s scalpel, and glued them back together.