‘Modern Muse’ by Arpita Shah + GRAIN Projects

Some news I have been sitting on for quite a while….

In August 2019, I and a number of other women of South Asian heritage volunteered for the photographic project ‘Modern Muse’, created and conceptualised by artist Arpita Shah, and overseen by GRAIN Projects. The work was intended to be shared through a multimedia gallery exhibit the following Summer, but nobody needs reminding of what happened in the world before then!

Arpita, Stephen Burke and Nicola Shipley of GRAIN have since worked to bring the project into view, evolving the ways it can be best shared. Today, I am beyond proud and ecstatic to announce that the Modern Muse book, designed by Chris Neophytou and published by Out of Place Books, is available for presale!!!! Not only this, but ten of the portraits have been acquired by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and added to their official collection, of which mine is one!!!!

I cannot say and emphasise enough how proud I am to have been able to contribute to this work, and how honoured and humbled I am for being included and represented so exquisitely by Arpita. She is an absolute jewel, as an artist and human being, and I am blessed to know her.

Writer and academic Alina Khakoo’s specially-commissioned essay about the Modern Muse series and included photographs will be available in the book- I am impatient as hell to read it!!!

Thank you, infinitely, to Arpita, Nicola, Stephen, Emily, Alina, Chris, Out of Place Books and Ruth Millington. Go forth and buy the book, search the project, and support all of the wonderful creators and contributors!!! I cannot wait to see the response.

With all my heart, Ciona. X

Book design and publishing by Chris Neophytou at Out of Place Books October 2022
Portrait by Arpita Shah
Portrait by Arpita Shah
Portrait by Arpita Shah
Portrait by Arpita Shah

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