In her current work, Cheryl explores the idea of origin and inheritance, which is embedded in the figure of her mother and her presence in the family album. It deals with memory, personal history, transgenerational trauma, and how they inform identity. Cheryl primarily works with photography, text, and video. Cheryl has been the recent recipient of Capture Photography Festival’s Writing Prize, Brooklyn Museum’s #Your2020Portrait award, South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund (SAARF), Firecracker Photography Grant, and was nominated for the inaugural Next Step Award by Aperture Foundation and Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York. Her work has been exhibited at the Format Photo Festival (UK), Brooklyn Museum (US) Museum of Moving Image (US) International Center of Photography (US) Serendipity Arts Festival (IN).
My work is an exploration of my origin and inheritance, which is embedded in the figure of my mother. It deals with memory, mental illness, transgenerational trauma, and how they inform identity using mediums such as photography, text, video, printmaking. I examine and engage with my mother’s presence and personal history throughout the family albums that I brought with me to the United States from India.
In the family photographs, I find a resemblance between my looks and my mother’s. This physical resemblance feels synonymous with fate: if I already looked like her, then I must become her. I explore the idea of becoming my mother by reinserting myself into the family album and staging self-portraits in my domestic space alongside prints of her photographs—exposing the anxiety of seeing my mother’s body as a home both lost and never lost.