Flowers for the Empire, 2019
The work examines contemporary celebrations of the colonial past through complex relationships between the Commonwealth countries and their colonizer. Post-colonial nation state is not only defined by a critique of the colonial, but also in its desire of the colonial. At the last Royal wedding, the bride’s veil was adorned with floral motifs from all the 52 Commonwealth countries. A gesture steeped in the colonial arrogance, I go on a journey to find the flower that represented India on that veil in the UK. Lotus is not a flower that you find easily in such a climate. These images in its fragility, materiality and indexicality, chronicle not only my journey but also the journey of the colony.
The work was made possible due to the generous grant from AHRC for the project Articulating Women and Bluecoat, Liverpool for hosting me.