rashmi talpade urban legends in modern archaeology


Rashmi Talpade is an Asian Indian American artist who has lived in Wallingford, Connecticut for the past 30 years. She holds a degree in Fine Art and is an artist, photographer as well as an art educator, and curator. Her artwork is focused on photo collages and large-format ink drawings which she has exhibited nationwide and in Asia. For her collages, she uses her own collection of photographs from her travels in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Her work is constantly evolving with experimentation, self-discovery, and growth which form the core of her art practice. Rashmi is a recipient of numerous grants and fellowships and has created large-format public art projects for schools as well as libraries across Connecticut. Her work is part of permanent collections at the New Britain Museum of American Art as well as the Roopankar Museum of Modern Art in India as well a number of public and private collections.

Rashmi Talpade

Art Exhibition

Artist Statement

I create photo-collages from my own collection of photographs, combining everyday objects from my daily life to reconstruct imaginary urban places, reflecting my upbringing in the city of Bombay. My new series, “Modern Archaeology”, follows the Urban Legends of industrial relics and abandoned factories as they merge with nature’s relentless march across manmade waste and environmental abuse. In my collages, our not so recent past collides and merges with our constantly changing environment today. Modern Archaeology is a narrative of our previous and current successes - for example, abandoned factories, icons of past successes, have fallen into disrepair just a few miles away from modern office buildings, indicating shifting dynamics and complex issues which could have deep impact on the economy as well as environment. We are in the center of a turbulent time in our history, where change is infiltrating lives of young and old. My photo-collages document the contrasting times we live in through seemingly inconsequential footprints. Images of abandoned objects, less then pristine city side- walks, rusted bits of metal, and a collection of items both natural and manmade which surround us are treated like precious relics. Thousands of fragments of photo prints, reassembled like jigsaw puzzles without reference bring about illusions of less than perfect cityscapes. Similar to archeologists finding beauty and history in pieces of pottery, broken relics and skeletons of centuries past, I preserve the life we have by creating images of contemporary lifestyles, which translate into stories both intriguing and meaningful for viewers today and for the archaeologists of the future.