India has been a source of spiritual and artistic inspiration to Europeans since the time of discovery, and during the 20th century travel to the region became possible for more people than ever before. Body Architecture pairs the quintessentially European form of women’s dress patterns with Indian printmaking techniques to suggest the development of new multicultural identities. Like clothing, architecture creates a space to contain and define the human body.

The artist’s work builds on the theories of Swiss French architect Le Corbusier, himself inspired by classical architects such as Vitruvius, who used the proportions of the human body to improve the appearance and function of architecture. In Narielwalla’s bold collages, the lines traced on dress patterns for French seamstresses to follow are re-contextualized when seen alongside traditional batik woodblocks. The viewer glimpses the delicate batik motif through a paper screen redolent of the intricately carved wooden paneling that decorates many Indian buildings called Jali.