Must Know Artist: Anoushka Bhalla
An award winning artist and writer from Vadodara, Gujarat, Anoushka Bhalla's work explores the human condition and the anxieties at the heart of the human experience.
Wound, Cloth, Latex, Wax (framed), 72 x 50 inches, 2019
She engages with art-making as a form of introspection and catharsis, often alternating between the two. Anoushka introspects on the nature of grief and violence, time and decay, life and death, and the sensuousness of the human flesh but mostly her practice reflects on the nature of trauma. Previously studying to be a medical surgeon, the spectacle of surgery and the sight of cadavers often led her to introspect on the essence of death. Her works are thus a purgation from the strict stoicism instilled within her by the profession.
With her latest work titled 'Flesh', she tries to evoke remembrance of times of violence, agony and trauma- be those existential, institutional or individual.
A butcher’s shop is an interesting place to be
Even more interesting are the slabs of meat
The slabs of meat which are not quite animal
An animal that you cannot identify
For its identity lies within its human
A human no longer alive
Rotting flesh is the ultimate representation of the existential fear in man- the incessant desire for life in full knowledge of its futility.
Does this mean that the desire in itself is futile?
Scab, Pigment Wax on Cloth (framed), 90 x 35 inches, 2019
"My works explore ‘The human condition’ and the anxieties at the heart of the human experience. I engage with art-making as a form of introspection and catharsis, often alternating between the two. I introspect on the nature of grief and violence, time and decay, life and death and the sensuousness of the human flesh but mostly my practice reflects on the nature of trauma. Previously studying to be a medical surgeon, the spectacle of surgery and the sight of cadavers often led me to introspect on the essence of death. My works are thus a purgation from the strict stoicism instilled within me by the profession." writes Anoushka.
About the Artist: Anoushka Bhalla
Anoushka completed her Bachelor’s and Masters’s in Visual Arts from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. She is currently pursuing her second postgraduate degree at the School of Visual Arts, New York City on a scholarship. She was also offered scholarships by the Parsons New School and Maryland Institute College of Art. She recently received a grant from the Mrinalini Mukherjee Foundation and her works are on display at the Kochi-Muziris Student Biennale 2021. In 2020 she was selected from a pool of nationwide contestants as a young critic for the Mumbai Film Festival and has been under the mentorship of The Hindu’s Deputy Editor Emeritus, Baradwaj Rangan, and writers from The Guardian. She has also been a resident at Space Studio, Vadodara under the mentorship of Veeranganakumari Solanki, and has trained at the Chhap Studio, Vadodara in Printmaking.
Anoushka currently lives and works in New York City. Find out more about her here.