As an artist, creator and photographer, Shraddha Bhargava is constantly on the lookout for newer frames in order to understand the automated conversation between the eyes and the mind. For her, the creative process involves coming to an understanding of the process of visual communication and its relationship to human thoughts, before moving onto actually executing the projects. In an effort to visually read the world around us, she came to Mumbai to find her destiny and went on to explore the lives of women in a place known as the ‘Working Women’s Hostel’ in the city.
“Like me, many young women from small towns come to the big city leaving their safe-havens. Away from family, coping up in a strict environment, meeting up with deadlines of the hostel, sharing the room with unknown people, finding your own space, struggling with different tastes etc. becomes a different challenge altogether,” says Shraddha.
With snippets from various lives intersecting in a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai, she developed her own rendition of what it means to share intimate spaces with other people, what it means to dream, and moreover what it takes to turn those dreams into reality. Her project titled ‘Bedtime Stories in the City of Dreams’ centres around a bed in the women’s hostel wherein the occupants share both the important and the not-so-important moments in their lives. It is a visual depiction of one’s own space amidst the sprawling expanse of the metropolis, which is often looked upon by many as the ‘City of Dreams’.
“The images talk about the camaraderie, solitude, celebrations, building relations, adjustment and loneliness of being in an unknown populated city,” says Shraddha.
For her, the creative process is to first understand the process of visual communication and its relationship to human thoughts. Her overall aim is to look for and execute projects which would contribute to a better understanding of a social topic or at least improve the study of visual literacy.
Here’s Homegrown having a quick chat with her about her art and avenues of inspiration:
I. What is that first piece of art that impacted you and why?
Aaron Siskind’s work. As it is true to life and also somewhat abstract expressionist.
II. Are there any Indian contemporaries of yours whose work you admire?
I am a great admirer of Chirodeep Chaudhury’s work.
III. One art project you would execute if there were no monetary limitations?
I would like to take up a project where I can find inspiring stories of women from rural India and also teach and guide women and kids to engage in a visual documentation of their villages.
V. Your favourite midnight munchies?
You can check out more of her work here.
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