Vedika Rampal's art practice is interested in exploring counter narratives to androcentric and colonial histories that either undermine or erase the violence experienced by culturally othered bodies. Drawing upon her Indian heritage, Vedika's work intends to create discourse around the narratives of power and the intergenerational trauma her family has experienced by the 'bloodied' legacy of the British Raj. Ultimately, through the use of contemporary visual languages, Vedika's practice examines the interconnections between her understanding of her cultural roots to be burdened by the inherited memory of massacre and the tenuous relationship between identity, history and gender.
COLONIAL REVERIES,is a body of work that attempts to reveal the aftermath of the British empire's quixotic departure from the colonised landscape. By appropriating archival images of the 1947 Partition between India and Pakistan, the large-scaled paintings bring forth the trauma and violence induced in consequence of the historical erasure of narratives by the governing Western lens. The paintings function to situate a critique of the mollification of the colonial empire's negligence which uprooted an entire nation of (at the time) over 300 million people and catapulted them into a frenzy of blood-lust and mob violence to an unprecedented scale.
Furthermore, appearing as both a spatial and temporal palimpsest, "Colonial Reveries" uses the real-life photographs of the Partition as a stencil superimposed onto vibrant colours reduced to rudimentary geometric shapes. The surface of the canvases is layered and effaced repetitiously with both opaque and translucent paint, leaving the residue of each previous surface in the form of brush marks that rupture the harmony of the dominant pigment. Juxtapositions between colour and line intend to provoke discomfort within the viewer upon the realisation of witnessing the debris of human bodies and limbs. Ultimately the work seeks to negotiate the tentative relationship between aesthetic beauty and unspeakable violence within art. It asks the question, how does art respond to massacre?
Colonial Reveries, 2021, mixed media paintings, 42x42 inches x5, 32x42 inches x2.