An interview with artist Opashona Ghosh about her on-going project “All About My Mother”
Oh My Ghosh! Indian illustrator Opashona Ghosh is making a name for herself and her colourful digital illustrations in the European scene. Her eye-catching art questions femininity, queer identity, cultural appartenance and other society matters in sometimes playful, sometimes sexy, and sometimes symbolic ways, not shying away from addressing what some might consider taboo. Her series “All About My Mother” is still on-going, Opashona Ghosh answers a few questions about the how of why of this body of work.
KALTBLUT: What mothers is “All About My Mother” about?
Opashona Ghosh: This series is whimsically inspired by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar’s iconic movie of the same name. I watched it when I was 17 or 18 years old – still full of unresolved teenage angst and confusion. The movie and Almodovar’s beautiful understanding of women, death and emotions somehow stuck with me and eventually became my starting point in my personal exploration of femininity, strength in vulnerability and the queer mind. More specifically, I would say these are my reflections on experiences with many maternal figures in my life and the relationship we could never have. It is about desire.
KALTBLUT: What does your mom think about this series and about your work in general? Opashona Ghosh: If I only knew what actually goes on in that complex mind of hers! My work, like many other aspects of me, is a topic we don’t directly engage with for various reasons. I know it seems unusual for the Western audiences, but around my home parts, a lot of parent-child relationship is built on not-knowing, and is totally normal. Having said that, she has shown great interest in trying to understand my schedule and business model!
KALTBLUT: How does this series relate to you? Opashona Ghosh: A lot of my work exists in conflict zones – of mind and body. It is also in this space that the possibility of creation exists, and I channel this aspect to influence my imagination.
KALTBLUT: I see representations of different themes in this series: women, femininity, sex, religion… How are these linked to motherhood according to you? Opashona Ghosh: The most important psychological factor that unconsciously programs ones aspirations, ambitions, fears and desires is their relationship with their mother. Whether in pride, empathy, disagreement, absence, presence, or lack of fulfilment. It comes to define and sometimes confine us. This series is based on my various reflections on this awareness with the aim to expand it into empowering stories of love, resistance, transformation and desirability. My themes are tools to facilitate the movement, as in life too.
KALTBLUT: Do you think mothers empowering their daughters is one of the keys to advancing the female cause?
Opashona Ghosh: Absolutely! Capitalism/patriarchy has used the classic ‘divide and rule’ for far too long and we need more women supporting women. If we can begin the conversation around choice, freedom, personal responsibilities young – the world would be a very different place. Imagine a reality where everybody’s self aware, comfortable and compassionate! The greatest gift my mother has given me is to let me know that even motherhood is a choice, and not necessarily the norm.