Grand Rapids, Michigan

If you build it

A part of the artist’s distinct collage drawing series, Autocartography III portrays an internal struggle charting the subject’s ultimate triumph over herself through various self-portraits. The piece was developed though three distinct steps: performance, photography and drawing. Beginning with Ahuja’s solo performances in front of the camera, the artist becomes an agent of her own depiction. The resulting photographic documentation of this performance stands as the non-fictional source material, ultimately complimenting the invented elements of the work.
An embodiment of the cultural landscape the subject inhabits, the piece builds on an initial history of marks by stamping transparent vellum with letterpress and textile printing blocks, ultimately creating vibrant patterns, textures and colors. Gathering from the artist’s failed drawings, the torn and reassembled layers create a paper patchwork—the surface on which the subjects reside and an underlying product of creative self-sufficiency.

 Weaving & Out

Ahuja creates self-portraits staged in different environments in which history, myth and personal narrative co-exist. She is particularly concerned with the notions of inward and outward gaze, and sees her work as a vehicle for self-invention creating an Amazonian type woman striding through nature and transcending the archetype of “the rescuing prince.”