Nina Mhach Durban
BA (Hons) Fine Art
I am preoccupied with physical and sensory ways of engaging with the diasporic experience. By way of a sculptural interaction with found images I preserve and celebrate British Asian histories through the creation of an alternative, expanded archive, closely informed by my own familial experience of postcolonial migration.
Within my practice I use touch to imbue images with intimacy as they are smoothed over surfaces, forced to migrate across awkward corners, and held tenderly in-between hands. By demanding that these two-dimensional images occupy space, the marginalized histories and bodies depicted physically enter institutional spaces not made for them. Saturated, gigantic, and pixelated crops of gaping mouths and gazing eyes tower over the viewer to present an alternative method of archiving for diasporic families and communities beyond colonial structures.
I look to the women of Bollywood as powerful symbols of non-Western femininity and sensuality. Through a spatial and sculptural understanding my work activates their glamorous yet passive representation. As a result, by virtue of their newfound tangible and immense presence these women turn into participating deities as they exchange gazes with the audience. They are now not only protectors as they watch over us, but they also become all-seeing witnesses holding the institutions in which they sit accountable.