Delhi-born, Sydney-based artist Kirtika Kain examines how oppressive social hierarchies and power structures have shaped her identity as a woman born into the Untouchable or Dalit caste within India. Through diverse alchemical and experimental printmaking processes, Kain explores the imprint of her ancestral memory, social stratification, and the archaic system that denigrates the Untouchables to subhuman status. Kain incorporates a myriad of humble materials that relate to themes of valuation, corporeality, ritual and the manual labour of the lower classes including beeswax, charcoal, coconut husk, rope, Indian cotton, tar, coconut broom grass, and religious thread.
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