Mehves Lelic

Verses and Flower
digital photographic print on Baryta
16.5 x 25 in.

My work is concerned with exploring what is domestic, intimate, familial, inherited, and adopted within the context of family life and the home. Often I am drawn to photographing the objects in my immediate environment that have connections to the natural world – to allude particularly to their transition into domestic possessions of sustenance, permanence, intimacy and care. As a Muslim immigrant to Chicago, I am always fascinated with the relationship between belonging and the possession and utilization of these objects. As Sasha Hemon writes, could where we belong be about what belongs to us?

Thus elements of the natural world, such as food, flowers, light, animals and metals become symbols of sustenance and belonging in the works that I am creating. The pictured domestic situations focus on the forms and the abstraction of these elements, as well as preserve a spiritual and cultural identity that is made dynamic by my emigration. Through these situations I practice the preservation of my identities as immigrant, artist and mother, interacting with the diverse ecosystems that make up my life experience. Subdued hues, high contrast and the exclusive use of available light contribute to highlighting these ideas and create a sentimental interpretation of the work.