House of Kal Colombo Artist Residency, 2021
Artist Hema Shironi shares some of her collaborative works with fellow resident, Sabeen Omar, as part of her residency at House of Kal, Colombo.
Hema Shironi writes:
"The crafts produced and used by women from the past in the domestic interior are worth investigating to explain why women at various levels of society took up home crafts and their motives for doing in their life. At one level, it may have been artistic self-expression; at another level, the product of a commitment to household duty or financial necessity; on a third level, it may have been for entertainment or passing time, most of the time, the crafts were associated with women's lifestyle, these motivations seem to reflect recent past art forms too. The fields of art and crafts led to the difference between amateur women and professional men, especially, the equating of specific crafts women's work and homemaking. This gendering, visual sensibility women had developed was particularly directed towards their homes. Sabeen and I are more interested in the drive of craft in art through this collaboration. We were shared our opinions to build a path for the productions, interestingly, we both have an attachment with fabric to explore our emotions, while we discussed our practice got an idea from our personal use of the handkerchief, the use of them is slightly different from each of us but almost there are many memories are travelling through this small pieces of fabric. Used them as a messenger to carry the Relationship with grandmother, friends, family, schoolmates, loved ones and many others. I choose several handkerchiefs to develop the storylines and images that are more connected to my memory as a girl child, the verbal barriers used by my surrounding people to safeguard me from many situations. The meanings of the terms are raw and sometimes disgusting to hear, but they are passed from generation to generation. I collected some of them and shared them with Sabeen to improve as a visual language. Local terms are used as a cultural tool for driving a girl. I stitched and decorated them with visual meaning in the teaching and learning format of the alphabet to create a collective story as a reaction.
Collaborative Project by F.J Hema Shironi and Sabeen Omar
Images courtesy of House of Kal, Colombo.