Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Meera Sethi: Listen to your aunties!

Listen to your aunties! Toronto artist Meera Sethi celebrates the wisdom and style of South Asian women 

When it comes to navigating the nuances of an Indian-Canadian identity, Meera Sethi is 'Upping the Aunty.'

(Left) Gunalaxsmi Aunty and (right) Preeti Aunty, two of the paintings in
Toronto artist Meera Sethi's current exhibition at Daniels Spectrum, Upping the Aunty.

Fashion icons in North America are rarely over 40 and are almost never South Asian, but Toronto-based artist Meera Sethi is determined to challenge that. Her current exhibition at Toronto's Daniels SpectrumUpping the Aunty, explores the style, attitude and potential iconography of South Asian aunties — the older women whom Sethi has looked up to throughout her life. The term "aunty" in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka isn't just used for family members. It can be applied to family friends and even strangers. In my own Caribbean culture, I was taught to always refer to older women as "aunties" because it was considered disrespectful for children to call adults by their first name.

Meera Sethi. Pinky Aunty

Meera Sethi. Ramvati Aunty.

Meera Sethi. (Left) Viji Aunty, (right) Rashida Aunty.

Meera Sethi. Joyce Aunty.

Meera Sethi. Poonam Aunty.


Seeing the impact her paintings have on women in particular has been a powerful affirmation for Sethi. "It's been amazing and so beautiful to see women from all walks, not only South Asian women, feel honoured and seen by the work," she says, smiling. "As women of colour we don't get that experience very often, especially as older women of colour. We might see ourselves represented, but not in a way that gives us strength."
Meera Sethi. Upping the Aunty. To July 15. Daniels Spectrum, Toronto.

For a further reading of the article, visit CBC Arts page by clicking here. 

Listen to your aunties! Toronto artist Meera Sethi celebrates the wisdom and style of South Asian women 
by Amanda Parris · CBC Arts June 23, 2016

I would say that Sethi's creates simple, yet inspiring representation of playful, yet professional and confident aunties from South Asia. The aunties are the best of the both worlds. 
Make sure to check out the Upping the Aunty photo series on the Upping the Aunty Tumblr.

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