Meera Chandran has been highlighting present social, political and gender points by means of face artwork

{A photograph} of her masks coated with flowers was 23-year-old Meera Chandran’s first response to the lockdown that started in March 2020. ‘Spread love, not germs’ was the caption that accompanied the image posted on July 11 final yr. The subsequent image exhorted individuals to ‘break the chain’ of infections. There was a bunch of unlit matchsticks plastered on her left cheek whereas the matchsticks on her proper cheek have been proven burning. The third had a stark warning: ‘Six feet away or six feet under,’ with one facet of the photograph that includes her face devoid of paint whereas the opposite facet was painted black.

Over the previous yr, the Kollam-based architect has gained a following on Instagram for her face artwork, which she makes use of to spotlight present points, sexism, racism, the farmers’ protest, and so forth. Her face is her canvas, the place a variety of artwork is executed. She then clicks selfies which might be shared on her Instagram account. Although she isn’t any professional with regards to make-up, she appears to know intuitively how finest to seize an thought with the assistance of collage, paints, Photoshop and installations, all on her face, which has been coated in flowers, newspapers, clay, and a whitening masks amongst different issues.

“Words do not come easily to me. Lines, colours, shapes and textures speak to me, helping me express my thoughts, concerns and opinions,” says Meera.

The Altering Perspective

When the lockdown started, she felt overwhelmed by the sudden adjustments in way of life that remoted individuals and started to alter their behaviour. “I saw how neighbours and friends were ostracising people with COVID-19 instead of helping them. That is why I posted a photograph of my face wearing a mask covered with flowers. I found that people react to images more quickly and strongly,” she says. She firmly believes that footage converse louder than phrases and language is rarely a barrier with regards to artwork.

The self-taught artist has been an entrepreneur from the age of 19 together with her personal line of clay jewelry (@mannu_by_meera), in addition to a line of clothes (@_studiounicorn). Although she had already been dabbling in face artwork on her Instagram account (@meerachandran), it was through the lockdown that she got here into her personal with some searing photos of facial artwork. There’s one {photograph} that’s certain to ring a bell with each girl in India — a large number of eyes are painted on her face, and it’s captioned ‘All eyes on me, but I chose to be free.’

She states: “There is the most dangerous life of all, living a life that is scripted and judged by others. Try to unclip your own wings, maybe help yourself to fly, and rise up from the fall for the hundredth time, and then you taste freedom and that is absolute joy,” she says, including, “This is a feeling that must be common to all females. It is self-explanatory.”

On October 1, Meera was enraged by the information of the rape and homicide of a Dalit girl in Hathras, whose corpse was then burnt by the police. As a response, she painted her face black and labored on the {photograph} to point out flames enveloping it, with the caption ‘Stood and let her burn’.

To help the farmers’ protest in Delhi, she coated her face in mud and let it dry in furrows and contours that resembled the parched fields and weather-beaten faces and ft of the farmers. Another exhibits her face coated with the phrase ‘Imperfect’. “I was reacting to a personal issue,” she says with amusing. “Most teenagers have issues with their face and figure. I had acne, which filled me with angst during my school days. It was to remind all of us that we are all imperfect in some way or the other, and to embrace our imperfections.”

On one event, bored with the adverse information that was flooding the media, she coated her face with a collage of newspapers enclosed by a hoop of fireplace. “I felt that the media was completely engulfing our lives… it was taking over my senses,” she says.

Meera believes her artwork is inherited from her mom, a skilled artist who couldn’t take it up professionally. “I have picked up some tips from her. But the facial art is my idea and my family supports me,” she says. Although she has no plans for an exhibition within the close to future, her works on Instagram have gained her recognition. With evocative captions and pithy explanations, her images caught the attention of dancer-actor Rima Kallingal, who invited Meera to collaborate on her new manufacturing, ‘Rise’. Her work gained her one other project, this time with a band. She will likely be designing futuristic costumes and facial artwork for his or her music video.

Meera refuses to let her artwork be confined to blueprints and buildings. “I continue to work as an architect and also indulge my creativity as an artist,” she says.


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