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BOXES beyond borders

From a Picture Frame On My Mantelpiece

Ketna Patel
Singapore 2001

As a 32-year old female Indian Diasporic artist, my preoccupations are complex. Feelings of confidence and vulnerability exist at the same time. My formal research, for the longest time, has been a documentation of my interactions with people and experiences by using photography. These photographs form part of a tale. The front, from top to bottom, depicts a meandering path of images of women, starting from infancy to old age. The back of the frame shows my life, whilst growing up in a politically charged environment, that all pervasive racism between the whites and the blacks and the Indians, and my moving to England at the age of fourteen, conflicting lifestyles, hidden desires, and a magnetic pull towards my (so-called?) homeland, India. Almost all my work reflects my relationship with India. In that murky sea of conflicting humanity, a different code is at work; therefore I am not in control, and have much to learn, and to re-learn. This preoccupation is less a romance, and more a sort of obsessive compulsion.

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