Creative Discipline:
Multimedia artist with an emphasis on photo, painting and collage


Primary Medium(s):
photography


Website URL:
https://renluka.com

Artist Statement
My grandparents arrived as Indentured laborers in Trinidad in 1913 to work on the sugar plantations under the British. Slavery had ended in the mid 1800's and they needed a new labor force, so the British decided to ship Indians to their colonies. My grandparents left their homes in India for reasons I will never know but can only speculate and this is what my work is about. The first 2 images presented are a blend of my photography and found photos of indentured women. the next 4 are of indentured women photographed in studio by a man named Felix Morin sometime in the late 1800's. These women are important to me because they could very well be relatives I have never met, for I have limited information on my ancestry. I wish to decolonize the archives that hold these images and bring them into the light through the use of color and design, patterning and reverence, giving these women some sense of agency which I feel perhaps was not afforded to them at the time. I wish to show a connection between the laborers and women today and pay homage and respect to them as ancestors. Its an important part of history that is rarely recognized and yet it was one of the biggest movement of people across the globe. 


Artist Biography:
Ms. Maharaj completed her BFA at the University of Colorado Boulder and her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received the Barbara De Genevieve Scholarship. Her works are in institutional collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Joan Flasch artist book collection, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art and special collections at the University of Colorado Boulder as well as numerous private collections. Her work has been recognized with awards including Fellowships from: Vermont Studio Center, Fountainhead Residency and Virginia Center For Creative Arts to name a few and she has also been accepted into the year long residency at the Project For Empty Spaces in Newark, New Jersey which will culminate in a solo show.

Instagram:
@renlukamaharaj

RENLUKA MAHARAJ

New York, NY