Bol, installation, 20' x 14' x 9'

These images are from an installation of photographs, digital photo-collages, and sculptures. 

Bol (translation in Urdu: Speak. The title is taken from a verse by Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poem: Speak for your lips are free.

To be one with the trees is to know Life within your own spirit - Chief Sequoia

Bol is about a woman’s multiple, veiled, paradoxical identities, and gaining self-knowledge or a voice. The woman is confined in layers of the chadors that bind her, hiding her true identity, or are they a refuge protecting her from the outside world, clinging to her, defining her form. Is she enclosed by the fabric covering her like a web or adorned by it? Is she content and accepting of her reality, or has she surrendered, oblivious of what she could be? Or is she struggling to break free? The work poses all these questions. 

The web she is trapped in is beautiful, colorful, and protective. It has sheltered her through many storms evident by the fallen, ruptured trees around her. It clings to her like a lovely garment, a protective covering that refuses to shed. Veiled in the chadors that symbolize her cultural identity, but isolated from that culture, what is her true identity that has been concealed?          

Whether struggling to break out of the fabric trapping or surrendered to it, she is one with the lone trees hidden in the woods, trees that have fallen and ruptured from life’s many storms.