A Body Is a Bridge, a Body Is Water
உடல் ஒரு பாலம், մարմինը՝ ջուր
Uṭal oru pālam, marminy՝ jur
A spring collection release and weekend pop up of ceramics and garments.
Heavy Manners Library, 1200 N Alvarado St, Los Angeles
Opening reception: Thursday, March 24th, 7-9pm
Weekend pop up: March 25 - 27, 2022, 11-7pm
A Body Is a Bridge, a Body Is Water is a show celebrating the connection between artists Natalia Ira Sookias’ and Shriya Samavai Manian’s respective Eastern heritages with their lives and art practices in the West. Heavy Manners Library is transformed into a space of Armenian and Indian comforts and traditions, featuring handmade ceramics by Sooki Studio (@sooki__studio) and garments made from saris by SAMAVAI (@samavai.world). As diasporic individuals, Sookias and Samavai Manian use their memories of times spent in their traditions with grandparents and cherished family members to create a bridge over the ocean between then and now. We invite you to think about the objects in your home and how they connect to those who came before you and those who may come afterward. Items by Sooki Studio and SAMAVAI are inspired by rituals and built for you and those you love to continue them on.
Thatha’s been gone for nine years / Papik’s been gone for two
Large soft palms, long twiggy fingers, and arms stretched like bridges from them to us
Paati would fill the water in the vessel / Tatik would heat it on the stove
Bodies adorned with gold, hips wrapped in cotton-silk, faces soft and warm like milk
We’re placing stones on the walk from there to here. Leaping from rock to rock. Heaven to earth. A cord from their hearts to ours. Adyar to Pasadena. Artsakh to Monterey Park.
SAMAVAI is a label founded by Shriya Samavai Manian and based in Los Angeles, CA. Shriya is interested in exploring how heritage and history can be passed down through textiles. All garments are made from vintage saris and other South Asian textiles and are cut & sewn in India and the United States.
Sooki Studio is part making space, part educational space run by Armenian artist & educator, Natalia Sookias. Her ceramics are a vehicle to both connect with her ancestors and create good quality goods for her community. Her work is made with the intention to last generations.
Poster by Rin Kim
Images by Shriya Samavai Manian & Natalia Sookias
Text by Shriya Samavai Manian