Anita Maharjan

Artist Statement

I work between two and three dimensionalities, creating installations that merge traditional Nepali weaving methods with contemporary western materiality. The weaving process is linked to my personal culture and is inspired by woven utilitarian mats that I learned how to make growing up in Nepal. Traditional Nepali mats are woven with agricultural waste products, whereas I reflect contemporary western culture by weaving with non-traditional materials such as discarded plastic bags, bed sheets, furniture, wax, and paper.

 

Through my work I revisit the memories of my childhood, in which my mother wove mats as part of her livelihood. Weaving in my culture is mostly a woman’s job. Nowadays, since Nepali women are allowed to work outside the home, weaving is done primarily by those women who are not educated. In contrast, I am weaving mats with the same traditional techniques as part of my higher education. Through my work I am introducing the art/craft/labor of those underprivileged women.

 

This specific work is a portrait of the diverse family of people living under one roof, which is the United States. Each piece shares similarities with those around it, but expresses its personality and characteristic in a unique way. Despite our different colors, shapes, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds, we all blend together to be united as one body.