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HEMA UPADHYAY
(Born in 1972)
BLEEDING HEARTS
gouache, acrylic paints, dry pastels, graphite and photograph on paper
183 x 122 cm. (72 x 48 in.)
Painted in 2005
Provenance
Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai, India
Acquired directly by the present owner from the above

Lot Essay

'Bleeding Hearts' was conceived much in line during 'Sweet Sweat Memories' (in 2001) where I realized that there is a lot of numbness while settling into a new city, (we stop reacting because we want our own safety first). This went through a gestation period and took full form during the Gujarat riots,and before that many happenings in Mumbai itself. During the time, someone had also emailed me a petition to sign against a domestic violence case. Together, all these formed 'Bleeding Hearts' where one questions, can we undo the hurt, violence, of whatever form, and is a take-off point for ones own conscience. 'Bleeding Hearts' addresses the subtlest forms of mishaps or acts of violence. (Things we can easily ignore)

'Bleeding Hearts' deals with the confrontations of personal phobias, shortcomings and other realities like that of Identities and Spaces both public and private which are hierarchically structured amongst Class, Caste, Religion and Gender. Where the body becomes a site of receiving or reaction to these elements, where the self-balances like a see-saw with the idea of rejection and acceptance. 'Bleeding Hearts' emerges, as a strong desire to erase the decorative status, (a flippant attitude to) some events proceed to achieve in the course of History and Memory.

Bleeding Hearts

Can flowers say it all?

How does one apologize for the violence around us?

Can we just apologize with flowers? Or is there anything else required for the apology to be made? A wish of many, who feel helpless in the face of unleashed horror and their own incapability to stop it. The disembodied arms that emerge from within the visual arrangement on the bouquet frame a plea for forgiveness and a gesture of apology, both at the same time.

-Hema Upadhyay
(in conversation with the artist)

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