My name is Trisha Gupta and I am a student and an apprentice at Island Press (which houses and operates the largest press in the Midwestern United states). Under the direction of Tom Huck, Joan Hall, and Tom Reed, I am one of the fifteen students in a two year intensive printmaking program through the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual arts. I work as a student mentor in art history at the Kemper Gallery of Art and I have worked for the Corcoran Gallery of art as a teaching assistant.
In my work I appropriate the architectural silhouettes of landmarks and alter them to create a surreal and fantastical landscape in order to comment on the sudden, unreal, and mercurial nature of terrorism. As a second generation Indian residing in St. Louis when the Mumbai terrorist attack occurred I was devastated by the footage of the Taj burning, and by the implications the attack had on the safety of my family in Mumbai. Caught in a flurry of phone calls and garbled media messages I was stuck by the similarities this attack had to the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon. My mother who was working by the Pentagon saw the burning and the destruction of the exterior of the Pentagon when the plane crashed. Despite my shock I have been continuously amazed at the resilience the Taj (an Indian Hotel) demonstrated in reopening its doors and encouraging people to check back in after the attack. My most recent piece is conglomerate of three separate accounts from people affected by the violence. The top panel, created from a process of ghosting and stencil monotyping, is representative of my mother’s repeated visits to drink tea at the Taj in the 1970s when she was an Indian Citizen. It intersperses artifacts from a high Tea service into the building’s architecture. The bottom upside down panel, is a mirror image reflected as if on the surface of a pond, that depicts the billowing ash that spread out from the burning of the old wing of the Taj. As I wished the piece to serve as a memorial, it is subtle and heavily relies on monochromatic color.
Currently the piece has been exhibited in two shows including “Serious Business” a group exhibition held in St. Louis on Washington Avenue.
As a daughter for an Indian immigrant, with much of my family (including my sister) working in India I believe this piece would pay respect to the recent tragedies in India and speak for me and other people of Indian Origin in paying respect to the victims of the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Thank you for considering my submission.