'The Almirah' is a multi-disciplinary fashion art installation project depicting the several mental states of a woman during the COVID times merging the forms of fashion, solo-performance, structural design, photography, videography, and poetry.
The Almirah is a fashion art installation project depicting the several mental states of a woman during the COVID times conceived and executed by the fashion artist Sharmila Nair. The Almirah represents the mind and its intangible feelings and expressions. For some women, this COVID lockdown meant happiness as they could spend more time with their families. Some women felt trapped and experienced frustration, sadness, emptiness, longing, etc.
There's a tradition in Kerala where the parents gift an almirah to their daughter after she is married off. This almirah then stays in her life as a companion with whom she shares her happiness, sadness, fears, insecurities, and secrets. It is in the same almirah that the patriarchal society interferes. The Almirah stands as a metaphor for the limited public space women experience in a patriarchal society. According to Sharmila, such an almirah is present in almost everyone's life. Eight mental states including happiness, sadness, anger, etc are expressed by the woman standing inside the almirah clad in a saree.
The project has been launched virtually through the Instagram page of Sharmila's online boutique named RedLotus due to the COVID crisis. Once the crisis is over, the installation will be mounted inside an art gallery space. Ramya Suvi, a classically trained Bharatnatyam dancer has done the solo-performance inside the almirah. Ratheesh Ravindran has done still photography and videography. Satheesh Mohan has served as the project assistant, while Imnah Felix and Anzar Mohammed had handled art direction and editing respectively.