Born 1973, Ushmita has done her B.F.A. in Painting from Delhi College of Art & M.F.A. in Painting from Kala-Bhavana, Visva- Bharati University, Santiniketan, India.
Ushmita says her works are an introspective assimilation of the mechanics of her own mind. They are a continuing series of open ended dialogues with herself; an expressions of her search into the essence of who she is. She tries to give tangible form to an intimate, unknown space. Mapping is essentially a human endeavour to de-mystify; to break down the unknown into knowable units- she proposes her drawings are area maps of the infinite space that exists within her, and calls herself a metaphysical cartographer.
Her work may be called a “process oriented Abstraction” where images suggest geological phenomena, horizon lines, celestial events, and topographical formations and architectural forms. She is fascinated by theories of space and time continuum, black holes, singularity, event horizon and other scientific theorems. The almost architectural spatial division could be read as human interface and the more organic forms float and move within the more structured space around it, interacting with it sometimes trapped by it. She feels aurally her paintings are predominantly silent. For Ushmita colour is expressive and personal; the layered, acrylic surfaces consume themselves, overlapping and running into each other, and finally melting into an image which may be strangely evocative.
At any given time she deals with three kinds of space; the space on the paper, the space around her and the mental space within. For her each work is a whole of and a part of a larger dimension, where every section exists individually within its assigned space, and also extends infinitely on all sides. Repetitiveness is an element she employs deliberately. Each drawing is a record of transforming events, about pattern, structure and repetition. With each repetition every element is experienced differently. Every repetition initiates a transformation
Ushmita has won the Yuva Mahotsav award and is also a past recipient of the National Scholarship of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Govt. of India. She has recently had a solo show in Bangladesh titled “The Metaphysical Cartographer” at the Dhaka Arts Center 2014. In 2014 she was part of a 7 day workshop organized by The Dhaka University, where she presented a seminar entitled “The woman artists of Santiniketan; gender history & shifting paradigms” and a 20 day Artist Residency programme and International artists Show at Burapha Fine & applied Art University, Thailand. She has been a part of several group shows and camps including “Inaugural Show”, The Egg Art Studio, Delhi ,“Members of SSVAD” at Emami Chisel Arts Kolkata “Remembering Lessing” at The Hub Baroda, “Existential Explorations” at Galleria M, Kolkata, ” Anuchitra” -Contemporary Miniatures, a group show at Ganges art gallery, Kolkata; Group Show at Emami Chisel, Kolkata; “Miniature Format Show” Gallery Sans Tache, Mumbai; Group Show and Auction, Kolkata International Foundation; “Modern to Contemporary”, Gallery Kolkata.
Ushmita regularly contributes articles to leading art magazine both National & International. She also curates shows. She is the writer of a monograph on artist and designer Riten Mazumdar commissioned by Bengal Charu Kala Parshad. Among the several shows she has curated the most recent is “Poetics of Plurality” at Gallery SITE art space, Vadodara 2016. She is the coordinator of the arts project at SSVAD, Santiniketan. She has in the past also designed a website for Atelier Arts, New Delhi.
Ushmita Sahu lives and works from Santiniketan, West Bengal, India
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