Skewed Histories (2023), is a series of large sculptures that reference nostalgic familiarities specific to Delhi. Drawing from the design of the Southern Gateway of the Qutub (Minar) complex in the south of the city (commissioned in 1311 AD by the Khalji Dynasty), this work creates reinterpretations of its horse-shoe arch. These are seen alongside arches that reference motifs from the entryways of 20th Century homes in Shahjahanabad (now Old Delhi), designed in Indo-Saracenic architecture which combine Indian and European vocabularies. In Old Delhi though the most commonly used design is the Shahjahani arch, which we also see in Gurudwara architecture in Delhi. As a nod to my Sikh heritage the third design of the arches reference its motifs.
Eleven of these arches come together to form an immersive installation, where they transcend their functionality to become metaphors for the effects of time and the mutability(and malleability) of history via architecture. Today, as history books are altered to exclude/include/change certain histories, new meanings are prescribed to old architectures, and roads are threatened to be renamed; this work considers the present alteration of the past. The installation looks at history’s ability to flip, intersect, fragment and sink, alluding to the way in which our past is altered by present value-systems and the dominating ideologies.