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Year 9 - Identity: Sharmila Samant

A guide to resources on identity in art, compiled by your librarians. Last updated December 2018.

About the artist - Sharmila Samant

Indian artist, Sharmila Samant, was born in Mumbai in 1967 where she currently lives and works. She studied Fine Art at Sir J.J. School of Art which she followed  with a diploma course in interior design. She spent four years in Europe from 1998 when she was resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam and in London at Gasworks. She states ´Art to me is the conscience, a kind of awareness and a reflection of my experiences.´ This can be seen by her artistic response to her time in Europe where she experienced transition and the feelings of being an outsider, Her work today deals with issues of globalisation, identity and consumer culture.

She explains, ´the projects I undertake involve eclectic collecting, documenting and recycling of urban debris, looking at the mundane and the profane. The works critique the market forces that define the cultural and art practices of the peripheral nations and question how our identities, within the global set up, can be sustained via a hybridisation of our culture.´

Samant uses a multi-disciplinary approach, working in photography, installation and video. Some of her most widely exhibited work are her handmade sarees made from Coca-cola bottle caps. The design of her first handmade Saree (See slideshow)is in white, off-white, and red, is, based on the Tangail saree pattern worn by many women in Calcutta at the time of puja

Against the grain

'Against the Grain'

Indian artist, Sharmila Samant, was born in Mumbai where she currently lives and works. Her work deals with issues of globalisation, identity and consumer culture. 

The 1000 cobra snakes were hand crafted in collaboration with an indigenous community from the Bolangir region in India

Sarees from Coca-cola caps?

A rich array of different traditional designs 

Source of images: Artpublic, Artnews, Chemould Gallery 

Sharmila Samant

The mundane and the profane

Indian artist, Sharmila Samant, was born in Mumbai where she currently lives and works. Her work deals with issues of globalisation, identity and consumer culture. 

Cocacola bottle cap & metal shakles & 3 wooden frame with text