The photographs in Jardim were taken by Meera Margaret Singh during a two-month artist residency in 2012 in Jardim Canada, Brazil, an isolated industrial town primarily made up of factories, warehouses, and improvised housing for a transitory workforce. Captured through the camera is an urban landscape oscillating between growth and decay. What is revealed through the printed photographs, however, is a self-reflexive meditation on the artist’s experience of that time.
Living and working in this isolated town, Singh (like most of the local women) was restricted from leaving her residence after dark. This is the singular reason why all the photographs are shot in daylight. The artist residency was housed in an old converted factory and was shared at the time by Singh and three male artists. Access to the outside world was made even more tenuous with inconsistent internet and telephone connections. The residency itself became a place of gendered tension and, like the surrounding town after dark, a place where a woman was made to feel unsafe. Jardim bears witness to this tension by hovering between states of connection and alienation, freedom and restriction, safety and threat.