Inside the Road


During my one month at Chhaap, I was given the chance to just focus on making art. I could make as little or as much as I desired. Having unlimited time to create made my ideas flow organically and in return kept me continuously inspired. I created a body of work that I can say I am truly proud of.

This was the first time I was my own critic. Back in America I usually work in a group setting or always have someone who is giving me honest feedback. In India, I had to be my own critical eye. I got most of my prints to a place of being finished. My work unveiled a new cohesive theme and everything came together with little difficulty.

After the second week, a road emerged and I had the rest of my work go in that direction. Inside the road refers to the fortunate events that lead me back to India. It talks about the actual roads I witness in India. All of the organized chaos I get to experience when I step out in a rickshaw, motorcycle, car or by foot. My first inspiration lies within my upbringing as an American Indian. It has been fascinating to see how my work has evolved since physically being in India.

The prep for my show was pretty easy. That’s the beauty of India, I felt like my life was just a little bit easier. There are people to deliver the frames to the gallery. There was a team of three people to install the show. And the gallery coordinator was very easy to work with and never showed any signs of stress. We had a senior artist from Ahmadabad inaugurate the show, Amit Ambalal. He walked through the entire gallery and asked questions about each piece of work and gave me thoughtful praise. He asked me if I listened to music while printing because there is a lyrical movement to how the prints work. I enjoyed all he had to say and explaining how I arrived at the final product.

The opening was filled with people and I was bouncing from group to group explaining the inks, process, and imagery. A lot of media coverage came to the opening as well. I think my count so far is about 6 articles in various news sources. I even got interviewed to be on TV! I gave a full interview in Gujaratii. I was definitely proud of my self for that one. I continued to gallery sit over the next few days and a good crowd came each day.

Back in America, I was chosen to be the contributing artist for the April edition of The Perpetual You. They are doing a challenge for the month of April and today is to create a doodle. Feel free to participate by tagging The Perpetual You in your post (#thirtydaysofpurpose or #theperpetualyou)

Open Studios at Chhaap

Before I could even fully comprehend, it was my last day at Chhaap. This also meant it was the day of my open studios. I split up my work between Baroda and Ahmadabad so there would be different work for the open studios as well as the solo show at the gallery. The day before in the afternoon Yogesh (the peon at Chhaap) and myself hung the entire show. We worked together with ideas and created something that I was truly proud of. Yogesh is pretty amazing. He does literally everything from documenting work, to bringing you chai, to printing an entire edition and of course being the best assistant while printing. I need someone like that to come back to America with me!

Open studios took place in two intervals. One in the morning and then again in the evening. The middle of the day is way too hot so we knew no one would come. The morning was filled with all of my relatives. They came from Bombay, Ahmadabad and even Kutch especially to support me. I truly felt loved. The evening was also filled with various characters. This included: professors, other artists, students, friends, and even a lovely textile designer. At one point there wasn’t even room to move. I am not one of those people who make art just for myself. I love explaining my process and showing people my water-based inks. I almost think that is equally rewarding as making the actual prints.

Yogesh took down the show in about ten minutes and I was off to finish up my trip in Ahmadabad! But before I could leave, I had to give an interview on the phone. I wasn’t sure if I should speak English or Gujarati, but since he was asking questions in English that is the same way I responded. At the end of it I told Kavita: “I have no idea if he understood everything I said, but I explained in detail!” I was published in two articles in Baroda and they got the jist of it that’s for sure.