Kapu is Prinita Thevarajah, an artist who grew up in Sydney among the Tamil community. Earlier this year, she created her first piece of handblown glass, a bracelet inspired by her culture and mother tongue: the twists and turns reflect the curls and rolling sounds made when speaking the language. She tells LOVER, “My work is deeply reflective of my identity as a Tamil woman. I missed the sound of aunties chatting, their bangles clanging together. In particular, the piece was dedicated to my amma who takes any opportunity to adorn her arms in sparkling golds. My piece while definitely more abstract and contemporary, was my interpretation of the bangle situation.” Kapu, is the Tamil word for bangle.
Now based in Brooklyn, Prinita creates objects such as vases, bracelets, chokers and incense holders, a combination of cutting, heating, bending, splicing and blowing tubes of glass. “I work over a ribbon flame and a double flame. The ribbon is perfect for curving glass and the double flame is perfect in splicing two tubes together. The whole process requires a lot of patience, a calm state of mind as well as extreme attention to detail. If you blow too much, the glass will burst. If you don't splice properly, the glass will break. I usually listen to Carnatic music when I'm in the studio as it keeps me composed.”
Her journey as an artist has been multidisciplinary, beginning with textiles, experimenting with audio and finding her feet amongst glass. “I became interested in glass in my last semester at NYU when I was becoming restless as I had spent my entire program immersed in theory and nothing physically creative. I needed to make something with my own two hands and decided to take a neon class. After a few weeks of the class I realised the neon itself was not as exciting as the endless possibilities that accompany glass.”
Wanting to create something accessible yet beautiful, all Prinita’s pieces are made from recycled glass and are priced affordably.
“I wanted to make work that I myself could afford to buy. I am interested in the minimalist yet transformative work in repurposing and reworking a single tube. So far I've made 50 pieces.”
Follow Kapu on Instagram.