Upping The Aunty is a three-part project that combines paintings, street style photographs and an adult colouring book to explore the iconic “South Asian Aunty”; her personal style and her unique role in our lives.

 

Series

Upping The Aunty

Created

2016

Medium

Acrylic & fabric on canvas

Dimensions

36 in. x 60 in.

 

2016.
Poonam Aunty

(Upping the Aunty series)
Acrylic and fabric on canvas
36 in. x 60 in.

Poonam Aunty coordinates the colour on her wristwatch interchangeable ring with her churidar salwar and multi-panelled chuni. A custom-tailored kurta brings together ambis, roses and Facebook insignias. Her wedge heels and single silver anklet with matching toe ring offer her best foot forward.

Available

2016.
Ramvati Aunty

(Upping the Aunty series)
Acrylic and tinsel on canvas
36 in. x 60 in.

Ramvati aunty carries an iconic nylon reusable shopping bag to round off her casual Sunday farmers market look. She wears freshly picked flowers in her hair with a matching barrette and a South-Indian pierced wooden comb hung delicately across her neck under a golden mangalsutra and a large money necklace. 

ROM Collection

2016.
Preeti Aunty

(Upping the Aunty series)
Acrylic and fabric on canvas
36 in. x 60 in.

Pretty Aunty rocks Punjabi floral semi-patialas, a Mugal-inspired block-printed kurta with Hawaii platform chappels and a 6IX snapback. Her colour choices are bold and reckless suggesting a fearless give-no-fucks attitude.

Available

2016.
Pinky Aunty

(Upping the Aunty series)
Acrylic, fabric and crystal on canvas
36 in. x 60 in.

Pinky Aunty kicks ass with powder pink Bata Power sneakers paired with Hiroshige-inspired Japanese sport-styled patiala salwar. She tops this with a rose garden floral kameez and contemporary-chic diamond-patterned chuni. Large rocks on her fingers, branded Versace-look sunglasses perched above her NY Yankees visor round off her urban flair.

Private Collection

2016.
Gunalaxsmi Aunty

(Upping the Aunty series)
Acrylic and fabric on canvas
36 in. x 60 in.

Gunalaxsmi Aunty wears a wide-brimed floral lined sun hat with a Hawaii'n bordered striped sari with bhandani pallu. Her antique silver jewellery and flower of life pendant suggest a well-rounded intellectualism.  

Available

2016.
Joyce Aunty

(Upping the Aunty series)
Acrylic and mirror on canvas
36 in. x 60 in.

Joyce Aunty takes sport casual to the next level. She combines sensible walking flats with Adidas-like crisp white socks, a complimentary terrycloth wristband and a convenient fanny pack in bright florals. Her skirt embellished with mirror work, delicate lace t-shirt piping and camouflage vest let us know that she is not afraid of confidently crafting her own style.  

Available

2016.
Viji Aunty

(Upping the Aunty series)
Acrylic and fabric on canvas
36 in. x 60 in.

iji Aunty wears a studded biker jacket with matching clutch. Her fuchsia leopard print blouse successfully contrasts with the multi-patterned sari hand-embroidered with gold-threaded polka dots. She tops it off with aviators and a cap that makes a statement in kitschy Camp.

Private Collection

2016.
Rashida Aunty

(Upping the Aunty series)
Acrylic and fabric on canvas
36 in. x 60 in.

Rashida Aunty wears a delicate hand-embroidered rida with lace and Mukesh work throughout. The contrasting striped pardi is folded away from the face. She pulls the outfit together with lightweight Adidas slippers and white sport socks for cooler days.

Available

 

Upping the Aunty is a three-part project that combines paintings, street style photographs and an adult colouring book to explore the iconic “South Asian Aunty”; her personal style and her unique role in our lives. The project is an example of transnational, diasporic cultural production that pays homage to the fabulousness of aunty style and her role in changing, shaping and performing social and cultural knowledge. Upping the Aunty challenges dominant, Eurocentric narratives of feminized immigrant and diasporic communities, national identity, street style and popular fashion.

In South Asian culture, an aunty may or may not be a biological relation. She may be a friend of the family or a stranger. But if she is close to your parents' generation, then she is accorded the status of aunty. Neither our mothers nor part of our peer group, aunties may be trusted confidantes or gatekeepers of social decorum. 

There are many aunties, and we may meet them every week, occasionally or only once; however they have a considerable impact on our lives. In jest, we may fondly mimic their gold and diamond-studded hand gestures or their pairing of traditional clothing with running shoes. This mimicry is a form of distancing, while simultaneously drawing attention to cultural traditions that may continue unbroken, be discarded, or are transformed.

#uppingtheaunty