Skip to main content
Visual Communication (MA)

Neha Mishra

Hello, I’m Neha Mishra,

and I tell people that I’m learning the art of situating full-stops in writing, but in truth, I don’t really believe in them

Absolute expression and the precise portrayal of thought is something I aim to achieve in most projects, but I do tend to digress a lot, which has never felt any less amazing.

I write to think and don’t think while I write

Before the MA in Visual Communication, I studied Fashion Design at NIFT Delhi, India, hence my practice is informed by a very indigenous understanding of touch, texture and tension. It is now layered and expressed in newly-learnt responses and a sprinkling of quotes and conversation snippets that I’ve absorbed at the RCA, the streets of London, and found in bookstores that are robbing me of all my money.

I love the bracketing comma, for I believe in the power of juxtapositions, and waving hello to animals I see on the street.

An illustration/ self portrait of me where i have heart shaped glitter on my cheeks

[TW: Bulimia]

Flesh heaves and spills as I breathe on the floor. No arms come to grab me by the shoulders and startle me to senses in the moment that I put two fingers down my throat and push the food out of myself. 

The purge might save me.

Bile burns my throat. 

Face red, my ear hurts. But I go to sleep. 

You can eat hunger, you see, it's okay. Run from guilt, the guilt eats you.

Words come dressed in concern but smell like phobia.

Worse when they bring love with them.

“If you were a little thin you’d have been my girlfriend”, said my teenage crush.

I sucked my stomach in and breathed only half all day. And then hid in the back room at home and stuffed my panicking mouth with food. 

Because “don’t complain,” they’d say, “change yourself.” Suck it up, till you too loathe the monster that you are.

Till your deeds and demeanour fit in the same seat.

I have no tongue to say the things that I want to. All the language I know about my body is a language of disgust. Language that addresses the fat body as a house of despair and disease. A language in which the fat body is only an obstacle, only death and doom.

Being and body are not different.

If health is the goal, hate, of all things, won’t take me there.

Do you know any words that I can love myself in? 

Words that don’t look like mirrors in white light. 

Etchings On Flesh, media item 1
Typeface design process
my typeface called Exhale.otf
Trials of converting the typeface into fabric puffer pieces
about 250 hand stitched and stuffed fabric puffs stacked up on the table with the text TENDER FLESH written in the designed type
Etchings On Flesh, media item 1

The what and why

The fear of being fat is the fear of joining an underclass that you have so readily dismissed, looked down on, looked past, or found yourself grateful not to be a part of. It is a fear of being seen as slothful, gluttonous, greedy, unambitious, unwanted, and, worst of all, unlovable.

  • Aubrey Gordon

Etchings On Flesh is about how words leave marks on our bodies. It’s about taking a minute to consider how the act of anonymising and dismissing the fat experience has a crushing effect on a person’s perception of self. 

The project is also an acknowledgement of the torment we go through, behind closed doors, away from the world, often in front of a mirror. The mirrors around us have been witness to more body dysmorphia than any therapist in the world. 

“ Self-hatred is only ever a seed planted from outside in. But when you do that to a child it becomes a weed so thick and it grows so fast, the child doesn’t know any different. It becomes as natural as gravity. ” 

  • Hannah Gadsby

Empathy is the foundation of my creative practice. I believe words come with responsibility, and that kindness and authentic inclusion, which comes not as a trend but as an inherent value system, is an absolute necessity.

Monsters are only words, cruel words there are plenty.

Love too needs words, I know only about twenty.