ART GALLERY: Leaving a print of myself and my love
Story and art| Anjali Sharif-Paul
Falling in love is the most important experience I have gone through. Making a visual sketch inspired by my partner, and muse, is sometimes the only thing I can wrap my head around making. Depicting the symbols, motifs and scenes of the everyday in our relationship is what I set out to do. I chose woodblock printing as the medium to use because it allows me to further simplify the everyday things experience together in our relationship.
Woodblock printing is an art form originating from India and Pakistan to design the fabric for blankets and clothes as well as ceramics, tiles and paper. It uses intricate patterns of nature and beautiful line work to convey the symbols of the land and culture. This practice of printing is ancient to the land as is believed to originate from the 3rd century CE. It continues to respectfully be done by artisans to this day.
The craft is methodically done through carving, printing and dyeing a repetitive designs, adding colors every time. The art form uses the flowers, trees and motifs specific to the land to showcase the importance of the culture. Using imagery from my past as inspiration, I am able to express the most integral parts of myself through this medium while still tying it back to my roots as Indian.
Though my designs are simple and minimal, I wanted to convey my own twist on the art form. The prints I have made are about a gay relationship, something that is still taboo within the Indian culture. By showcasing it as a part of nature and life and by expressing the art through simple depictions of a gay love story, it becomes a step into changing tradition while maintaining artistic integrity of who I am.