embroidery, found objects (152 sanitary napkins: the recommended amount that should be used by a female annually)
EXHIBITED AT THE BOMBAY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL GALLERY
This is an interactive installation in which the viewer walks through a dense mass of suspended sanitary napkins. Words that are commonly associated with menstruation are embroidered on each napkin. The sanitary napkins at the beginning of the installation have negative connotations (such as moody and weak) and gradually transition into words with positive connotations (such as power and fertility). Some words are in Hindi as this artwork attempts to normalize & eradicate the stigma attached to the biological process of menstruation in a society governed by old traditions and rituals that are followed out of sheer habit. The beginning of the installation is densely populated with sanitary napkins while the latter half is sparsely populated. The initial density provides the audience with a suffocating feeling which mirrors the way society suffocates women in India by making a natural process like menstruation a taboo. A sense of relief and achievement is gained when emerging at the end, symbolic of eventual freedom and acceptance for Indian women.
Funds from the sale of individual pads as framed artworks went to buy a machine to hand-make sanitary napkins for the women of a village in Eastern Maharashtra, providing them with a livelihood and safe sanitation methods.