Canadian artist Meera Seethi has launched her first major solo exhibition at Melbourne’s Sofitel as part of the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Cultural Program. Seethi was born in India, grew up in Toronto and makes regular trips to Australia. This exhibition, aptly named ‘Foreign Returned’, is an ode to the cultural roots Seethi is connected to across three continents.
Seethi has managed to make the lurid layers of cloth in her life-size paintings seem almost transparent through applying several layers of thin acrylic over time. She has playfully injected modern trinkets like iphones, beatboxes and stiletto heels alongside imagery of traditional Indian clothing and iconography. In her paintings, globalization feels like something worth celebrating, as if all the fun colourful parts of the world could combine to form something fun and beautiful.
Meera Seethi with Magda Szubanski at the exhibition opening
Meera welcomed and thanked everyone for coming to the exhibition’s opening night and talked about (add Canadian accent) how much fun she had painting a Canadian passport into the waistband of traditional Indian dress pants and pairing a fascinator with a sari in ode to Melbourne’s spring racing carnival.
She is greatly inspired by all kinds of movements, the fusion of cultural identities in the modern world and questioning what the politically charged word ‘foreign’ means today. The title of her show refers to a traditional Indian phrase that translates to show how someone has traveled abroad and has been forever altered by the experience.
It is evident in her work that Meera has a fascination with the colours, textures, movement and patterns of fashion and textiles. Her work has been printed in Vogue India and this is her first time tying her work directly into a fashion program. She hopes in the future to collaborate with fashion designers and take her bold use of colour and floral patterns from canvas to runway.
Foreign Returned will be on display until the 14th of April
Sofi’s Lounge, level 1 Sofitel Melbourne on Collins,
25 Collins Street, Melbourne
Images by Hannah Bambra.