ABOUT THE SERIES: Mapping the Body
||Mendhi - 2008
Photo-etching & Chine Colle, 12"H x 10"w
Maps have been an integral part of history telling a story of human exploration and cultural histories, as well as aiding developments in technology. They convey a multitude of ideas not only about navigation, but reflect on a metaphorical level our human desire for systems of organization. Over the years, my interest in the archeology of travel has taken me down many paths and like the early cartographers, I discovered this visual language to be an evocative means for conveying my perceptions of the world. Traveling throughout the exotic regions of both India and Asia, I became increasingly interested in Oriental and Ayurvedic traditions where illustrative maps are devotedly used to chart the flow of energy throughout the body. I also became fascinated visually by the tantric charts and acupunctural diagrams used to convey the “chi” energy within the body, as well link our circadian rhythms with the universe.
This series of works titled, “Mapping the Body” is intended to take the viewer on a journey through a palimpsest of information where associative layers of meaning unravel over time, revealing deeper connections within ourselves, as well as an interconnectedness with all living things. The series is a sensory meditation of the self, interlacing threads of memory with past histories and present realities. The torso form is used as a vessel for storytelling, a window or portal for travel and exploration into the hidden, mysterious interior landscape worlds located within the body. Countering archaic pattern with diagrammatic scientific charts and maps, the work alludes to both a cataclysm of images and events from quantum physics to sacred geometries.
I use multiple printmaking processes and digital imaging tools to create hybrid works that attempt to recapture the essence or spirit of the “Maya,” a Sanskrit term referring to the duality between illusion and dream as envisioned in his mind’s eye. The process involves scanned ephemera gathered from years of travel, along with maps, charts, drawings, and photographs. Visually interleafing layers of the personal with the appropriated, I create unique impressions intended to move the viewer through space and time, in an effort to present countless associations from the mystical to the esoteric.