Tamil-American California-based creative Shreya360 first came to our attention in 2016, with a series of illustrations that reimagined different forms of the goddess Shakti for the Hindu festival Navrathri.
Shreya360’s latest offering is a poetry and film animation project called bars: a body of poetry “written, illustrated, animated, and exhaled” that celebrates hip hop and the divine feminine, and centers radical joy.
“Knowing nothing about bookmaking except that I wanted to make a book, I worked intuitively,” Shreya told Kajal. “The first prototype was printed on office paper and glued together. I knew I wanted the paper to be brown (in a white default world, let these bars at least live in brownness) so I tried a few shades and weight options. From YouTube, I learned you can hot glue books together so I bound later prototypes this way. I tried the logo out in a few colors as well, and settled on a classic pottu red. Learning as I went, I held space for the book to take the form she wanted.”
The project’s publisher, irrelevant Press, filled in the gaps in Shreya’s knowledge, and Oakland creative spaces E.M. Wolfman Books and Good Mother Gallery have offered their spaces to share the project with the world this Friday July 6. Get down early for an offering ceremony at 7 PM, followed by a film screening 8 PM and closing cypher at 9 PM.
“Above all, I am deeply grateful to and moved by the creative community that came together to midwife bars,” Shreya said. “Some projects know incisively who they are and how they want to be held; bars is such a project and I am blessed to be her vessel.”
Those outside of Oakland can pre-order here.