In her debut solo show in India at Shrine Empire gallery, New York-based artist Samanta Batra Mehta brings to Delhi an exhibition titled The Other Side of Time that is inspired by ‘Cabinets of Curiosities’, the oftentimes eccentric collections of objects in Renaissance Europe. The exhibition will be on at Shrine Empire, 7, Friends Colony (West), New Delhi, from April 18 till May 18, 2013,
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Phone @ Tel: 4132 7630/ 2632 6930.
In this show spanning photography, prints, drawings and installation, 38-year-old Batra Mehta broadly maps connections between the human condition and the environment we inhabit. An insatiable collector of antiquarian books, original historical maps from the 1800s and early 1900s, and vintage prints and objects, Batra Mehta has delved into her personal collections of such objects as source material to depict themes in personal identity, gender constructs, social order and colonial history. For instance, one installation piece is made up entirely of postcards from the time of India’s partition dating back to 1947-50, and yet another installation uses glassware which is from the early part of last century including antique maps from the same era.
Says Anahita Taneja, Director, Shrine Empire: “After a lot of appreciation in exhibitions and fairs, we are excited to present Batra Mehta’s first solo show in India. Her work process is very unique as she uses vintage, antique objects.”
In this show, Batra Mehta journeys though her experiences in family history, childhood nostalgia, parenthood and, moving beyond the realm of the personal, towards themes in gender constructs, socio-cultural order and post-colonial theory. As an Indian artist living in New York for the past decade - she obliquely alludes to issues of identity, dislocation and migration. Batra Mehta uses antiquarian objects and texts to re-purpose them and ascribe alternative meanings. Her visual vocabulary often has elements of the human form intertwined with that of nature. Nature/landscape is seen as a metaphor for the body (and vice-versa) and as a site for germination, nourishment, degradation, trespass, plunder, colonization and transgression.
Samanta Batra Mehta was born in New Delhi, India in 1975 and lives in New York, USA. She has a diverse background including degrees in economics and information systems. She has previously worked in banking, venture capital and international shipping. She is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in photo, drawing, installation and a combination thereof. Her work has been exhibited at various international venues and her works are included in private collections in the USA, India and abroad.