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    About

    Beloved is a series of explorations of the connections between Nature, Intimacy and the Body.
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When I was a child I used to believe that I was in constant communication and conversation with the natural world. The moon followed me home at night, the patterns in clouds would whisper secrets to me, I see hearts everywhere, I find laughter in the patterns that flowers make as they burst out of bushes, I’ve been cradled by a waterfall, caressed by the wind, brushed by leaves.
When one grows up and falls in love, this relationship is intensified. The moon shines just for me. The rain falls at the perfect moment of a first kiss, the stars twinkle their approval, the tide and winds change with my laughter, Moons eclipse for me, meteors fall from the sky, the river warms up ready to swim in, four leaf clovers erupt from the earth as me and a lover would walk past them.  


 When in love, we give flowers to our lovers, have butterflies in our stomach when touched, every pebble or shell collected while together becomes more significant, more beautiful. And Nature responds too, the Wind caresses, the waves rise and fall and lap up against the shore, we are brushed by leaves and cradled by the earth.
 
Through 'Beloved', Shilo Shiv Suleman explores the hypothesis that perhaps the greater longing is to be united not just with the beloved, but with nature itself. 

 
'I want to do to you what spring does to the cherry trees'  is the first of a series of explorations within 'Beloved' between nature, love and intimacy. 
 
Flowers have always been a metaphor for desire and love, petals exchanged by lovers are pressed between pages of notebooks, we collect them, gift them, put them to our lips.
 
This project began with embroidering pressed flowers I had collected with lovers onto pages of notebooks as an attempt to preserve them, and keep them even closer to me. 
Flowers as ovaries and the reproductive systems of plants, become universal symbols of desire. In the second part of the project, words associated with love were embroidered onto pressed flowers. A lot of the flowers collected were those discarded by florists, the one's that didn't make it into a lovers arms. 
The final piece in the residency was inspired by a series of 12th century paintings of Radha and Krishna (hindu gods of love, the divine couple) covered by lotus petals in amorous embrace. Somehow this seemed rather similar to modern day bollywood films where intimate scenes are censored by flowers, but also connected up to the Neruda quote- 'I want to do to you what spring does to the cherry trees' 
 
The project then became into an extension of my own desire to want to burst into flowers with love, and so the outcome was a wearable piece made out of hundreds of embroidered lotus petals.
Each lotus petal was created with a real rose petal as the base, the petal was dried, pressed, epoxied onto fabric and then embroidered upon using digital embroidery machine. The project was completed and exhibited in New York City as part of the Sculpture and New media Artist in Residency programme at SVA. 
Some more explorations with petals