Cobalt blues, saturated crimsons, and golden ambers provide the ground for a cohort of fantastical figures in the canvases of artist Mequitta Ahuja. To enter a room of her work is to enter a very personal cosmology in which Ahuja fluently appropriates ancient works of myth and legend, such as the 15th century Persian manuscript The Hamzanama and Hindu miniature paintings.
These sources are woven into a pictorial style that is both autobiographical and trans-cultural; the figures are often self-portraits rendered in a process she names autocartography. The richness of her visual language vividly conveys her personal conviction that identity is ours to fabricate. Of primary concern to me is the agency we have to self-invent and self-represent... creative processes that are necessarily bricolage. We draw on personal and cultural history as well as our creative imaginations.
Works that have a paper ground, such as Autocartogrpahy I and III, Rhyme
Sequence: Wiggle Waggle, and Rhyme Sequence: Jingle Jangle , are formed
through painstaking layering of stamped printed textures using a variety
of tools such as Indian textile printing blocks, letterpress type. Others are
painted onto vellum; a stretched animal skin that was used in ancient times.