Chennai and flowers by Johanna Tagada

In December 2017, painter and interdisciplinary artist Johanna Tagada travelled to the South Indian region of Chennai, previously known as Madras. Through the lens of her 35mm film camera, Johanna initiated a photographic cycle documenting collective and cultural relationships of local women with flora.

The language of flowers forms in itself an integral part of South India’s rich culture. For centuries, flowers have played an important role in the daily life of South Indian women, be it for religious, spiritual, medicinal, culinary, social or commercial purposes. Each bloom, including jasmine, rose, marigold, hibiscus and violet is sold in the street, and worn in simple yet intricate hairstyles for its personal quality and symbolic, among which love, happiness, prosperity and luck. This series of photographs equally lingers on the flower vendors, which for most are females.