Mr’s.’ Nirbhaya represents women everywhere who continue to be victims of the centuries-old social and ideological construct of Patriarchy. These fearless women anonymously hang by the thread in their ragged, broken, fragmented bodies as the miscarriage of social justice and lack of free expression persists.
The name “Nirbhaya” means the ‘fearless one,’ which is borrowed from a horrific incident of sexual assault back in 2012 in India, which got the attention of the nation. The victim died of her injuries and became known as – the fearless one, as under Indian law, the rape victim’s name could not be reported publicly. In 2013, she received the International Women of Courage Award from the US Department of State, posthumously. One has to be fearless to endure and survive these social, cultural, and legal systems. And one has to be fearless to verbalize and express discontentment towards oppressive colonial patriarchal practices; yet with the imposed fear, ‘the fearless one’ remains unnamed and censored.
Living between worlds where countless nameless fearless women have no sexual and reproductive rights and are constrained to live in terror and treated like rag dolls. Rag Dolls, one of the oldest toys in existence, are used as comfort objects; similarly, women’s role is of nurturer yet having no agency over their own bodies. In India, marital rape and domestic violence are legal, and in post roe v wade America one has no access to abortion. To decolonize the self, resist internalized oppression, and live with “Nirbhaya,” we must voice and see reality as it is.
My practice is rooted in interdisciplinary practices with deep engagement with materials and mediums. Pluralistic approaches of making impressions and objects, represents multifaceted individual and their inherent potential. Through this strategy, I am able to create a complex visual whole. Abstraction helps deny singular interpretation and celebrate free association. It also assists to transition between tangible and intangible concepts. The ambiguity of a hierarchy of form and material, its layered presentation is key to developing the idea of extending my search for the ever shifting, fluid and constantly evolving notion of self. The need for the reimagined self to be free, to occupy space and to belong, Red helps symbolize the need to be seen and heard. It expresses passion and pain; self-awareness and self-acceptance.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ina Kaur is an active practitioner, educator and an activist. Materiality, physicality, dimensionality, and meditative qualities through repetition provides structural complexity in her work. Her works locate, decode, and connect with one’s inner self as we live in and respond to the heightened global, political, ecological imbalanced and socially unequal and unjust environment.
Kaur has exhibited internationally and has been a recipient of many awards. In addition to her studio practice, her interest extends to pedagogy and curation. She is passionate about developing new initiatives, implementing projects to engage with the community, and participating in responsive practices. “As of September 2018, Ina Kaur was honored as a 2018 Emerging Voice Award recipient on behalf of the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University. Since 2007 the College of Liberal Arts Alumni Board and the Purdue Alumni Association have been honoring young alumni from the College of Liberal Arts who are successfully achieving their career goals, serving their communities, and representing the College as graduates who think broadly and lead boldly.” Ina currently lives and works in New Orleans, LA and works out of her studio InkSpace.
© Ina Kaur