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Navarasa by Gopika Raj


Gopika Raj

About the work

‘Navarasa’ is a digital self-portrait printed on a large-scale piece of chiffon that when installed floats elegantly. As a 17-year-old Brisbane student I have been on a cultural journey of self-identity, and this is a contemporary communication of this search. ‘Navarasa’ refers to the nine facial expressions used in Kathakali. The dynamic and complex expressions symbolise my connection to my culture. Inspired by these, I constructed a sculptural headpiece adopting a fusion of elements influenced by the different traditional genres and Australian floral motifs. The entanglement and weaving of different materials, techniques and processes including, intricate Indian iconography and symbols is a cultural manipulation and metaphor of my own persona. It invites the viewer to celebrate the fusion of complex cultures. The idea to print on chiffon was to connect with the elegance of the sari and its rich combination of colour and pattern.