2015, triptych, archival pigment print with ink, looped sound, 42x52cm each
Relative (2015) is a triptych of photographs of my siblings and self in my Mother’s garden. In the years prior to making this work, I had been trying to learn Hindi on and off. On each image is my handwritten Devanagari script, my practice of Hindi vowels, consonants and conjuncts. I have an assorted vocabulary from growing up, but Hindi isn’t my mother tongue – technically it should be Telugu, Tamil or Malayalam, not English. But English is both my parents first language and mine. Growing up, my mother used Hindi, Sanskrit and Afrikaans to tell us off, or call us to hurry up, but English was her first language. She is self-taught in Hindi, partially speaks Tamil, is fluent in Afrikaans and is teaching herself Bengali – amongst many other dialects.