Her Mind Lives in a Palace : Recent works by Ekta Singha

5 July - 8 August 2021

Her mind is as blank as an empty room,

Surrounded with rain walls,

She lives with emotions that break her everyday,

Her mind lives in a palace which is built up of false promises.

- Ekta Singha

Ekta Singha’s recent body of work continues her exploration with familial nostalgia and a yearning for a bygone era. As a second generation Bengali migrant from Bangladesh, Ekta delves into the collective memory of her family’s past to recreate a reservoir of memories, from which she extracts her imagery. The current series of paintings, done on handmade Nepali paper pasted on wasli are an overlay of images of maps, landscapes and patterns reminiscent of her princely home; the occupants of which are depicted like faint shadows, neither hinting their arrival or departure. These images are held together with fragments of text that guide the viewer into her memory palace.

 

The artist draws from the rich tradition of miniature paintings as well as the poetic lyricism of Bengal school to create her own language, intertwined with personal narratives. In the present series of work, we see a playful treatment of the decorative borders and jali work found in Mughal Miniatures that guide the viewer's gaze as well as give a glimpse into her world. These works are an extension of her series Still Find Some Place Anyway [2019] which conveyed the optimism of finding an abode in a foreign land, following which Her Mind Lives in a Palace  becomes a sequel taking the conversation inwards, investigating intimate desires that long to relive the relinquished and forgotten past.