A few years ago my high school friend’s teenage son fell from the school terrace and died instantaneously. I felt he was disposed off. This kind of ultra brevity of life hung large on my conscience. I found the humble medium of a paper plate the answer to my questions. Similar to us humans, the paper plate is made to be disposed. What really matters is the time between the beginning and the end - the purpose and the impact each life has made in the world around itself.
Growing up in India amongst billions of people, there was no sense of value to a life, especially a female life. Transformation of a life from completely disposable to one of importance came about after my immigration to the United States in 1993. I realized the significance this culture lays upon each life from the time life is conceived to the time he or she dies.
I add value to the paper plates in the form of henna designs and natural patterns printed from woodblocks using archival oil based inks and acrylic paint suggesting the possibility of preciousness and indispensible beauty. Re-contextualizing and elevating the paper plates from a utilitarian category to one to be admired and treasured, I add value to life, one paper plate at a time.
Abhi Ghuge, 2016
Craighead Green Gallery
1011 Dragon Street
Dallas, Texas 75207