Vidai by Insiya Dhatt


Vidai is the ceremony in Indian marriages of saying farewell to your family – when a bride leaves her parents’ house to go to start a new life with her husband in his house. After this ceremony, the bride becomes a guest in her parents’ house and must fit into the house and family of the groom. The book is a two-sided accordion and includes the poem Hands Latticed written by Athena Kashyap in her book Sita’s Choice about her grandmother’s experience in an arranged marriage. The book opens with the poem that aptly describes the trepidation faced by a young bride and a lifetime of molding to meet the expectations of an ideal wife. After the last page, the cover opens on the other side to give a glimpse of the artist’s experience with an arranged marriage. The book is bound like a wedding album with henna-colored handmade Japanese Momi Kyoseishi paper and covered in a bridal sari to represent the life of a married woman. The henna hands art was laser engraved on handmade Indian cotton rag paper using an Epilog Fusion Pro laser. The text is letterpressed printed using Garamond typeface on a Vandercook cylinder press.

View a video of Vidai.

Artist Bio

Insiya draws inspiration from both her birthplace in the desert of Rajasthan and the intensity of her hometown Mumbai. After receiving her Masters in Banking and Economy, she spent 15 years shaping the face of eCommerce. During the following years, she left her position in the dot-com world to devote herself to art. Her artist books are held at university collections among which are RISD and Baylor University.