Paradisiac, our recently launched conceptual jewellery collection, was about the impossibly high standards of perfection we are constantly held against, and our struggle with accepting and embracing ourselves in the face of this pressure.
Pilgrimage, our experiential installation at Lakme Fashion Week , again speaks of our collective consciousness, our shared understanding of the social norm for beauty, which is so narrow and restrictive that most no one feels beautiful.
It is a pilgrimage to the never attainable alter of Venus, the Goddess of Love & Beauty, an alter that is always growing higher, and a Goddess that keeps changing shape, so as to always stay out of our reach.
We referenced Venus figurines discovered by archeologists between 35000 BC to 12000 BC, and created alters for them, with offerings of all the things we do to change our physical form to look and feel beautiful. One of the altars had razors, tweezers & hair removal cream, whereas another had pile of make up spilling over to pile on the ground. A third altar had an extreme push up bra with further silicon pass inserted into it, and a pair of body constricting, reshaping underwear. The last altar had an impossibly high pair of beautiful red shoes with a 10 inch heel.
This tunnel like temple space turns a corner and you find yourself walking between two rows of benches where women are sitting and judging you as if you were walking down a runway. They are beautifully made up with extreme contouring and the cliched long red nails, wearing one cloak for the 6 of them, from where just their heads and arms stick out.
You want to pass them quickly but are blocked out by 3 mirrors in your way with reminder of beauty filters, touch ups and make overs.
Squeezing past the mirrors you arrive at an audio hub with a 10 headphones and Sirena welcoming you to listen to her whispers. She reminds you that you are perfect, and that you are enough, just as you are.
Lastly you watch a video with my natural face transforming into a beautiful model like face, and further into a face that looks like it has had extreme and grotesque plastic surgery in a bid to look beautiful.
We hope that the installation will remind us that there can never be on fixed idea of what is beautiful, and instead of chasing these ever transient, impossible ideals, we need to find a comfortable acceptance of our own perfection. We also need to redefine and expand our ideals and attitudes, to be able to seek and find beauty in each person.