Neha Bhat

I always associate design to interaction with another person. This, precisely was my reason for choosing this lab for the beginning of my second year into understanding what design is and how I see myself contributing to it.

Beginning with Understanding Space:

Stumped by what I wanted to do with my interest in people and how they constitute spaces, the Heritage walk around Majestic helped me understand the dynamics of an unfamiliar space that I was aiming to work with. ( i.e. any project would be around Bangalore city)

To contribute significantly to what is around you, it goes without saying that it is necessary to attempt understand  what it is first, even if what you understand at the end is only 1/10th of what it really is.

A Space of Innumerable Conversations:

I enjoy conversing with people who respond to the level of openness that they are approached with. The people in K.R.Market turned out to be the most interesting ones I had ever encountered with a very high level of curiosity that turned out to be both a boon and a bane.

Woman and Dog

Food was never too less for her to share.

Making Rose Necklaces

Making Rose Strung Garlands (A quick Sketch)

The Ladies Toilet

The Ladies Toilet

The Public Intervention Exercise:

To alter a public space in any way possible.

I have always seen people haggling at places of worship to reduce the one rupee that the shoe keepers take for taking care of footwear while people pray.

Writing ‘ Work is Worship’ near their workplace seemed as  a subtle reminder of the respect that any kind of work owes.

Work Is Worship (Kannada)

In Kannada

Work is Worship (English)

In English

In Context (Outside the Yelahanka Temple)

The Shoe Keepers

Donning a character:

My vision for contemporary Indian women was quite extreme. I believe that dressing is only ‘modern’ when any woman in Indian can wear whatever she feels fit to her physicality with a guarantee of remaining unquestioned and unharmed.

The test run in Srishti saw me wearing a fusion of clothes I’d never wear on any street.

For the shoot in the market, I thought of extrapolating the attitude of this character, since there was less scope of portraying the physicality of it on an unprepared society. My character, which owed her dressing sense to that of the ‘fast’ girls (again, ‘fast’ is also a categorization of female space) on the street, ended up challenging female space in that market in a number of ways.

Being a Vegetable Vendor at K.R.Market:

We tried to step into the shoes of a person we found interesting and engage in the activities of business that he/she does for a span of 4 hours.

At KR-Challenging female space

Being a Vegetable Vendor at K.R.Market:

We tried to step into the shoes of a person we found interesting, imitate them physically and behaviorally and engage in the activities of business that he/she does for a span of 4 hours.

Where you can find me on the 18th of August 2009- A Blank Noise Assignment:

Iamhere

In and around Basaveshwaranagar (Bangalore,West)

My Reflections Page

3 responses to “Neha Bhat

  1. Narayan

    The photograph of the lady feeding the dog says it all. The pictorial representation of ladies toilet is an expression that happens only in India. “Hath me kangan, pav me payal, mathe be bindiya, it only happens in India”. Keep up the good work!

  2. geetu

    “This consideration was for my time in the market, after all the surface level, visual preparation.”

    Neha- this was a visual preparation as you correctly put it. Did it in anyway make you feel like the person you were trying to represent, or was is merely surface decoration in some way? From what I know of you, you are overt to begin with. What if the exercise asked you to dress like a demure woman, and you had to act that way for a while, a week, a month… Would you slowly start to feel demure and act demure?

    In ‘Why is the Veil such a Contentious Issue?’ by Imtiaz Ahmed something similar comes up. In the end he asks if women can alter gender relations by asserting their right to dress a particular way- just by abandoning the veil are they replacing an Islamic type of patriarchy with a western type of patriarchy. What do you feel about this in light of your experience in experimenting with the visual aspects of clothing?

  3. nehabhat34

    Setting out to be the person I was trying to represent was my initial aim. Hence I tried to achieve the same through:
    1.Attire
    2.Behaviour
    3.Objects
    All of these are visual acts. It is afterall the visual which leads to thought and hence, some kind of inference.
    Since we got four hours for this excercise, I’d admit that we just about touched the surface of it all.
    Yes, a certain amount of visual conditioning would make me behave like a demure woman.
    This is essentially what happens in society.
    Traditions, customs and rituals that define a culture ask you to visually behave in a certain way, no matter what your nature might be.

    Now, having said this, it makes it easier for me to say that if visual conditioning has made Islamic women seem under Islamic patriarchy, then abandoning that certainly implies that that patriarchy is being replaced by something else- a western one, in this case.

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