Terracotta – a neutral color artwork inspired by a young girl from the slums of India.
I took this photo back in 2016 on a trip to India. My team and I were in India for one month; living with locals, eating traditional home-made food, and trying to survive in 45 degree heat without aircon. This place was without any of the modern-day luxuries of a first world country, and it was an eye-opening experience to live as the locals.
Despite its difficulties, it wasn’t without its charm. Every morning, I would wake up at 6am to start my walk through the various street vendors to collect breakfast ingredients. The little stalls were often made of dried palms, and everything was so cheap compared to the Australian dollar. I would walk from stall to stall to buy fresh fruit, bread, eggs, and milk that came in a packet and had to be boiled. At the stall that sold eggs, the chickens would walk around freely. It was truly a different experience to grocery shopping at Coles or Woolworths.
During the day, we would all squeeze in to a little Tuk Tuk and make our way down to various slums. These communities are very large and very poor. Each family is given a small room in the building, which tightly fit about 5 people sometime, with one mattress to share. It was in one of these communities that I saw the young girl who is in the artwork. Despite the harsh living conditions, she wore her best dress, her hair was tied back neatly, and she was adorned with a red flower in her hair. Although I don’t know the girl’s name, this photo will always be special to me.
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