letters to my uncle (vingt huit) 2006

The work 'letters to my uncle' was created in 2006 for a group exhibition called "Shrine".

 

What is a shrine—is it things that we collect from the past to bring together in the present or is it something where each moment is a shrine, sacred and revered.
 
We make our shrines as we progress in life, each taking a form different to the earlier, with the present giving a new meaning to the moment—a moment that is sacred because of its connection to the immediate. It is a very profound idea. But how easy is it to get caught up in the banal, forgetting to live for the moment, in the present. Perhaps a shrine is memories of events, things that were left undone, words unsaid; like the autumn leaf on a tree that the wind forgets to pick up on its way home.
 
I never wrote back, not that I did not want to but because I was scared to write what I knew had to be written. It would have been better to have just said what I had to say, would have been easier—in retrospect, it always is.
 
What I have here is a shrine to my uncle who was not with us long enough. It is a way for me to finally do what I could not do while he was still alive. If only I had called. I am sure he would have understood…He passed away two months after I received his letter.

© Payal Sehgal 2019

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