As an Asian Indian immigrant living in Silicon Valley, I straddle two cultures and identities. I love my adopted community and country, and I have contributed to its growth economically and socially for the past thirty years. Only remnants of my past in another land remain. The current political climate constantly questions and doubts my contribution and my place in my country. Am I American? It is heartbreaking for me to answer this question. For the past two years, I have tried to reassure myself about my place in America by finding sanctuary in my art process. When doubts about my place and home arise, I find connections to the helpers in my community, tap into the spirituality of the land I left, and find joy in the natural wonders around me. My visual imagery is a confluence of my past and my present, both of which make this land rich and energetic.
“Sanctuaries” expresses where I find a sanctuary when I find myself overwhelmed with current events. The respite might be temporary, but it recharges, reassures, and reinvigorates my role in this society. Fabrics, weaving, and the designs that women produce and wear in India inspire me. Indian women wear the traditional Saree, and almost every Saree has a border. The border design is unique and integral, and it complements the designs in the body of the saree. I have been using these borders as a design and metaphorical element in my art. In “Sanctuaries”, I use borders to convey my idea of a sanctuary. I find refuge in the spiritual, in my community, and in the natural world.