Artwork from my grandmother

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
My grandmother's artwork.
My grandmother's artwork.

This object is an artwork made by my grandmother many years ago. Her name was Suprabha Senapati. My grandmother was an adult at the time she created this around the 1960s and 70s. This was around a time when women were not treated as equal to men. Instead, they were made to do household chores and look after the children. During her free time, she would make art for fun and keep them hidden in a secret box. After many years of her death, the box was finally found and her beautiful pieces of artwork. At this time, however, my father was already living in the United States with my mom, brother, and me. He had moved to the United States for further his education a long time back. As soon as he saw these pieces of artwork he immediately decided to keep them. They reminded him of home and his memories of his childhood. He says that the reason why he did so is because, “At that time, when this artifact was made, women were not regarded as co-equal to men...she was tied to doing household chores and taking care of the kids and the house. This was one of the only things she was able to do [despite all her work] and she would keep a collection of these in a secret box...” This story fascinated me because it showed me how my grandmother's life experience was.

Place(s): India
Year: 1999

– Anusha

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant