Desert Doves is a 35mm photo series centered on my love for the strength and intimacy that stems from the sanctuary of female friendships. Most of my work features my closest friends and this series is no exception as it resulted from my desire to capture two individuals who helped me navigate understanding my cultural and artistic identity.
As I’ve grown older and busier, I have increasingly come to treasure my girlfriends and the creative synergy I share with them. The intention behind this project stemmed from my realisation of how my friendships from high school have managed to still remain strong despite the geographical and mental distance.
Color plays a significant part in my understanding of visual aesthetics. By juxtaposing our earthy skin tones with textures of white cloth, I wanted to bring out the strength in our existence. I would consider most of my work to be a cross between experimental portraiture, editorial makeup, and documentary photography.
This project is personally significant to me as it developed from a desire to craft content that let me take up space within the mainstream visual landscape- without fear of external judgement. As a creator, it's easy for me to get sucked into a cycle of self doubt and my friends always give me a reason to bounce back and set aside any fear.
I think the visual cultural space has vastly expanded to provide access to creative persons of color. Not only has it let me explore my sexual and cultural identity through lensing what I hold dear but also allows others to see that the lack of South Asian representation in mainstream fashion and visual culture is slowly being addressed.