8 Annas Gold

I have always loved gilded paintings and illuminated manuscripts. many depict religious scenes and the lives of saints. This translated into using gold to depict secular heroism, such as my elders who left India or those who left other ex-colonies. Originally titled “Aunties”, the series was renamed when I found out “8 annas” was a derogatory synonym for “half-caste”, providing an opportunity to subvert such uses.The renaming exemplifies experimentation with wordplay, and my wish to unsettle established language through context, juxtaposition, and re-appropriation. 
The portrayal of Anglo-Indian women as sexually “impure” and “contaminating” and as “gold-diggers” contrasts with the earlier period when the British East India Company needed Indian women to be sexually active to produce the mixed-race community that would support their colonial enterprise, when the pagoda (gold coin) was paid for unions legitimated by Anglican marriage.