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Date: March 26 • 2024
End date: June 4 • 2024

Acrylic paintings at Poirier Library Lounge, Coquitlam Public Library

She began as an anonymous identity
Then she lived through the next one, bold and fierce
Then she tried another, and another and once
She became herself as her mother and another time as
Her mother’s mother
And she continued trying and becoming
And toying and thinking
And feeling and being and fluidly interchanging
And flowing and enjoying and inhaling and exhaling
And colouring and painting and dyeing
And loving
And there it was
She saw Herself
Her many lives in One time
In One instance
And her skin, it glowed
And her hair, it flowed
And her eyes, they danced
And her heart, it sang
She birthed, and she was born

It seems like I have painted her over and over again. Her daughter and granddaughters, her actresses, her life, and her. I feel like her impression. She IS my mother, my mother’s mother, and her mother too. And so am I.

This series of paintings began as one anonymous identity, celebrating the richness of melanin and attempting to stretch ideas of standardized beauty. “Darshan” roughly translates to “a view of divinity” and it was the name of my maternal grandmother. This exhibition is an attempt to honour endless inspiration in my life and represent my vision. The paintings were not planned, rather the completion of each piece necessitated the production of the next one, with its colour, form and composition imagined and formed as each piece was finished. Using small strokes of multiple colours, the faces were formed as a two-dimensional sculpture, with their true identities unknown until they were uncovered. The series intends to offer a resonating and connective representation of a melanin-rich woman, as imagined and developed through my personal lens and hand. Growing up, looking at myself and the women who most influenced me, they were often diverse, yet, I only saw some strange standard of normalness, which often felt white. This series is not about women who were excluded, it is about women who are here, who are inspiring and who are representational of the relationship I have with my foremothers, sisters and future generations. I am seeing the normal now, like never before. It is a darshan indeed.

Instagram: @kiranjotart

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