Remnants of Reminiscence, 2023

Cyanotype & Embroidery on Arches Paper 

In this series of cyanotype prints, I explore the profound impact of loss and grief, specifically through the lens of my personal experience. Having lost my father at a tender age and my grandmother a few years later, I have grappled with the question of how we remember our loved ones after they pass away. Do we hold onto memories, photographs, or possessions? Or do they exist solely within the fragments of our own minds?

These objects are vessels of memory, carrying within them a multitude of stories and cherished moments. Through the medium of cyanotype, I aim to capture the ethereal and elusive nature of these memories, allowing them to manifest visually and tangibly.

In "Reminisce of Remnants," I seek to immortalize these fleeting memories, to preserve the essence of my loved ones in tangible form. Each object depicted holds within it not just a physical presence but a multitude of emotions and connections. The images serve as a homage to their existence in my life and a testament to the enduring power of memory.

Through the intricate process of cyanotype printing, the rich blue hues evoke a sense of melancholy and nostalgia, mirroring the complex emotions associated with loss. The objects depicted in the series become symbolic vessels that transcend their materiality, becoming gateways to a world of shared experiences and enduring connections.

my papa's cellphone

The Nokia 6600, a relic of a bygone era, stands as a time capsule of memories. Its faded blue exterior, worn with the passage of time, holds within it the echoes of a poignant moment in my life. On that fateful night, with my father's reassuring presence beside me, we captured family pictures together using this very phone. Little did I know that those would be the last photographs we would take together.

Since that day in 2005, the Nokia 6600 has remained dormant, its screen forever blank. Yet, its significance transcends its mere functionality. This humble device, now kept safely alongside my father's cherished jewelry, serves as a vessel of remembrance—a tangible connection to a man I loved and lost too soon.

Sometimes, when I hold the Nokia 6600 in my hands, a rush of emotions overtakes me. It's as if the weight of the device carries more than just memories—it carries my father's essence, his spirit. In those moments, I can almost hear his laughter, see his warm smile, and feel his love enveloping me once again.

In my journey of grief, I have discovered that loss can manifest itself in unexpected ways. It can shape our behaviors, warp our perceptions, and create complex emotional landscapes. My longing for my father, deeply ingrained in my being, manifests in an unconscious yearning to reach out to him through his phone. I find myself dialing his number, a reflex born out of a once playful game of missed calls, but reality intervenes, reminding me that his number now belongs to another.

my nani's clutch

I fondly remember my nani, a woman of refined taste and elegance. She possessed an exquisite collection of saris and shawls, and her love for textiles knew no bounds. Each piece was meticulously chosen, reflecting her timeless style and grace. But there was more to her than just her impeccable fashion sense.

Nani had a unique way of pairing her ensembles. With her traditional salwar suits, she would wear moccasins, adding a touch of unexpected charm to her outfits. It was a reflection of her ability to effortlessly blend tradition with contemporary elements. And then there was her little clutch, a small accessory that seemed to hold a world of wonder. It was a treasure trove, never running out of money, always ready to surprise and delight.

But what intrigued me the most was Nani's practice of tying knots on the corners of her shawls or dupattas whenever she lost something. She believed that each knot would serve as a gentle reminder that she was searching for something dear to her heart. More often than not, it was her beloved clutch that had mysteriously vanished. It was as if the act of tying a knot symbolized her unwavering determination to reunite with her lost possession.

Recently, I stumbled upon a revelation that brought me closer to understanding Nani's essence. She had been an avid hand embroiderer since childhood, crafting intricate designs on bed sheets and wall hangings. This newfound knowledge was a beautiful revelation, showcasing a side of Nani that I had never known before. Those hand-embroidered pieces may have been created for the family, but they were undeniably works of art, each stitch reflecting her creativity and love for craftsmanship.

As I reflect on Nani's life and legacy, I find myself drawn to the embroidery on her clutch. It serves as a bridge between her and me, a tangible connection that reaches across time and space. With each intricate thread, I feel her presence, her passion for textiles and art reverberating through the delicate patterns.

The embroidered clutch becomes a symbol of more than just a lost possession; it becomes a symbol of reaching out to my nani, a way of embracing her memory and cherishing the rich tapestry of her life. In those threads, I find comfort, knowing that her love for textiles and embroidery lives on within me, connecting our souls through the artistry that runs through our veins.

vridhhi chaudhry 2023 © All rights reserved
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