Talha Rathore graduated from the Miniature painting department at the National College of Arts, Lahore in 1995 and studied on a UNESCO bursary at the Sanskriti Akademi in New Delhi two years later. Utilising the language of traditional freer Basholi, Guler and Kishangarh miniature paintings, Rathore co-opts its techniques and iconography to create startlingly poignant and contemporary works. Moving to New York in 1998, Rathore's work reflects deeply on issues of identity, displacement and womanhood, using the laborious and archaic language of traditional miniatures to express her feelings on life in one of the world's most industrialised and contemporary cities. Literally rooting this series of works in the grid-like topography of Manhattan, she uses an actual subway map as the 'canvas' for her paintings. Executed with the meticulous attention to detail typical of miniatures, in Grieving Tranquillity, Rathore illustrates a diptych of rounded trees stylistically suggestive of the iconography found in Indian Rajput painting. Produced from late 2005 to early 2006, this work is partially a response to the loss of her father and the two trees serve as an eloquent metaphor for the transition from life to death. Rathore has severed the work in the centre and rejoined the two halves with a series of simple stitches. According to Dr. Kristy Phillips who discusses this work in a recent exhibition catalogue, "In Grieving Tranquillity Rathore also conjures a visual vernacular of displacement and disconnection by upending the rituals of miniature making and tearing the pristine wasli, the paper ground meticulously, prepared with wheat paste and burnished to a glossy sheen for each painting. By splitting and suturing the wasli with orderly stitches, she not only does violence to its sacredness, but also implicates the process in the question of domestic "women's work," juxtaposing the constructed interior of the domain of women with the realities of an external life, and forcing a re-evaluation of where the feminine speaks, and survives, in each location." (K. Phillips, Gendering Detail: Exhibition of Contemporary Miniature Paintings, South Asian Gallery of Art, Toronto, May 2006, illustrated, unpaginated).