Kaviya, who goes by the Instagram handle wallflowergirlsays, is a 28-year-old artist from India taking inspiration from unconventional themes in her everyday life.
Proudly reppin’ Mumbai, Kaviya’s artwork looks like that of an artistic professional, but her work started off as doodles during a corporate job she held.
She uses her own spin on the #100DaysOf hashtag being used all over Instagram to promote self-development and improvement challenges.
Through her own variation of the hashtag, #100DaysofDirtyLaundry, Kaviya draws comparison from her photos of everyday life to the lives of all of us; the good, the bad, and the so-very-ugly.
“The thing is life in itself is meaningless. It is us humans who invent meaning and then wage wars over our invented stories. The things we believe in – religion, materialism, capitalism, relationships, pop culture, nationalism, work ethics, ideologies, EVERYTHING is just colourfully imagined ‘stories’ we humans tell ourselves to make some sense of this grand confusion.
Katiya’s most notable pictures examine themes of existentialism. Through her pictures and meticulous captions, she questions the beliefs we’ve been taught, the way we live, the society we live in, the activism we stand for, the uncertainties we deal with in our everyday lives, and most of all, our mental instabilities.
#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 71 – How far will your cynicism take you? . . I have spent this entire year in two moods exactly – highly cynical and highly hungry. . . The thing is life in itself is meaningless. It is us humans who invent meaning and then wage wars over our invented stories. The things we believe in – religion, materialism, capitalism, relationships, pop culture, nationalism, work ethics, ideologies, EVERYTHING is just colourfully imagined ‘stories’ we humans tell ourselves to make some sense of this grand confusion. Stories – because they exist only in our collective minds; ask your dog what he thinks about having an existential crisis, he most likely doesn’t give a flying fuck. (Sapiens) . . Most humans are selfish/arrogant/dumb/lazy, the system is rigged and driven by greed/shallowness/apathy for the environment and in the end, we are all going to die and there is nothing we can do about it (unless you are baby born today, you can be pretty sure your mortality isn’t going to be overturned by current scientific progress). . . Politics gives me a migraine, human rights is a fucking joke, there’s 7.6 billion of us greedily saying ‘Give us more & more’, most ‘adults’ have no clue what’s going on and are faking it, collective mental health is in tatters, spirituality is a cleverly marketed gimmick and from the horse’s mouth, god/Zuck knows what social media and technology is doing to our brains. . . Yes, that’s a catastrophic interpretation of humanity. But the more I look at the world in 2017, the more I hope something will convince me otherwise, the more convinced I am of my cynicism. . . But how far will cynicism take me? Is cynicism the hiding den of a disappointed self-righteous prick or an uncomfortable but realistic take on the sad state of the society we live in? Where’s that damn line? . . Should I laugh at the circus or join the circus and laugh with it? . . . . . (Model ref: Stock, Slate)
“Stories – because they exist only in our collective minds; ask your dog what he thinks about having an existential crisis, he most likely doesn’t give a flying fuck. (Sapiens)”
Her inspiration is drawn from human flaws that we all experience. Kaviya scrutinizes her inner and outer self, a common practice we can all relate to.
Katiya’s artwork grants us a feeling of ubiquitousness, a reminder that we are not alone on our adventures.
#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 33 – To be or not to be. . . “Lady, what’s wrong again?” . . “Bae leave me alone. I am just wallowing in self-pity and drowning in my bottomless pool of existential crisis. I am tired of this meaningless life. Forever at unease and on the lookout for something I really can’t define. What’s money? What’s careers? What’s fame? What’s home? What’s relationships? Aren’t we all just specks meant to appear & then disappear one day. Wiped out. Nothing matters. I am hungry for a deeper meaning, an inner purpose for this forever restless soul” . . “Wait, did you say hungry?” . . “Hungry? Hungry? That’s all you got from my deep existential rant? Wow. Leave me alone now. Btw, I think I may be hungry, could you place an order for two pizzas on your way out? Extra pepperoni and double cheese?” . . #speckofdust #existentialcrisis . . . . . . (Model ref: Raja Ravi Varma, apple quote: tumblr)
She places a heavy focus on millennial relationships, technology, and social pressures. Her creativity comes from using her own experiences as a form of self-expression and championing.
Katiya tells Quartz,
“I have been questioned by my close ones as to what purpose sharing my dirty laundry to the world served. But I was, and I am still, convinced how art can be a powerful medium for opening uncomfortable but necessary conversations. Most issues we are grappling with as a generation—like loneliness, anxiety, depression—are because we are always told not to openly talk about such taboos. Why? Because then people would judge us. But I think the more unbiased conversations we have about such topics, the more normalised they become.”
#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 74 – It’s very, very complicated. . . If your relationship isn’t online, is it even real? . . But your WhatsApp profile picture is only of you staring into cosmic emptiness, your Facebook relationship status is undefined, both of you don’t tag each other in hilarious Buzzfeed/AIB memes, your instagram has no trace of birthday gifts or fancy AF dinners with your ‘fave’ boy, there are no common movie or pub check-ins, no photos together with a dozen comments of ‘you guys are so cute ❤’ written underneath, are you really, really sure your relationship with this ‘guy’ you proclaim isn’t imaginary?. . . #someoneaskedmesomethinglikethis . . #willyoubemyitscomplicatedonfacebook? #millenialandgenzproblems #hobbestomycalvin #imaginaryfriends #loveinthetimeofhashtags
“I have many times, during the project, deliberated on openly speaking about certain intense, difficult topics like sexuality, relationships, and fears because they felt fiercely personal to be shared online.”
Some of her work has darker themes, such as her last post titled Valar Morghulis (for all my GoT heads), where she scrutinizes the subject of death, as well as the 4 narratives she believes summarize the process of life.
#100daysofdirtylaundry Day 76 – Valar Morghulis (All (wo)men must (eventually) die) . . Do you ever think about your mortality? Not in a morbid way, more like how one fine day you will cease to exist? Isn’t death our biggest fear? We fear missing out on not doing enough, not caring enough, not reading enough, not travelling enough, not achieving enough before we die. We also fear missing out on the future, how lives would change without us/our loved ones. . . It’s a strange taboo, death. We all know it’s inevitable, sparing none of us*, yet there’s this uncomfortable silence around it. We run away from death never taught how to acknowledge it. & then when it someday hits us or our loved ones by surprise, we realise how grossly unprepared we are to deal with it. . . I’m not sure if I possess the sensitivity/maturity to talk about death or mortality, so I’ll just leave you with the ways we approach our human mortality (ideas borrowed from Alan Watts & some amazing TEDs): . . 1. The life after death narrative – The religious narrative of the existence of heaven & hell, places we travel to, post mortality based on our morality (good deeds, bad deeds). The other religious narrative is that of an afterlife – that your body dies, but your soul eternally lives on &/or you reincarnate in another life, in another body, either to serve the sins or reap the benefits of your past lives. I personally don’t buy either of this, but Pixar’s Coco was too heartwarming that kinda makes you wish this narrative were true. . . . 2. The reproduction narrative – So what if I die one day, at least I can pass on ‘my’ genes & my wisdom (the things that make me, ‘me’) to my kids. & my kids will hopefully do the same to my grandkids and so on. & thus, some part of me lives on eternally in the mortal world long after I’m gone. . . 3. The legacy narrative – So what if I die one day, atleast my name, my work will live on well beyond my lifetime – through my writing, through my art, through my ideas, through my fame, through my sacrifices/struggles, through my kindness. . . . 4. The nihilist narrative – eh, what death? Firstly, what life? Nothing really matters. . . (Cont. in comments)
We’re excited to see what she’ll be putting out at the end of her #100Days challenges, but we’re sure that Kaviya will continue to give us content that’s insightful as it is raw.