"Colours of Unity" is a series of portraits designed to highlight individualism in a world where everyone’s lives are under microscopic scrutiny.
Socio-cultural influences have an impact on human behaviour and the way human behaviour is passed down, which can be seen in the determination for what is age and gender appropriate. This can lead to biases, which define how people react to sexism, homophobia, and sexuality. Even colours are associated with socio-cultural impacts, as Lakshmi explains:
“Colours worn for various occasions, may be diametrically opposite from one group to another group of people. Black is the colour of mourning for some people whereas white is for others. White may symbolize purity and is worn by brides in some cultures and yet viewed is as an absence of colour and therefore worn by widows in other cultures which may favour fire colours such as red and yellow. Blue is the colour for baby boys and pink for baby girls in western cultures but has no such significance in other cultures.”
Lakshmi questions how these preconceived notions translate from culture to culture, where different traditions and beliefs are observed. For instance, self, anxiety and depression might not relate in the same context when observed in new cultural settings.
According to Lakshmi, her new series of portraits examines individuality. “Age or race does not define the colour of skin or hair. Men and women have metallic lips with colourful skin and glasses. The glasses help depict the view of the external world, its reflection and influences on the mind.”
Each portrait features an acrylic frame allowing light to filter through to the background, and the glasses in the portrait are designed to gives an illusion of the same light filtering onto the face in the painting.