Bharti Kher’s art gives form to quotidian life and its daily rituals in a way that reassesses and transforms their meaning to yield an air of magical realism. Born in London in 1969, but now living in New Delhi, India, her use of found objects is informed by her own position as an artist located between geographic and social milieus. Her way of working is exploratory: surveying, looking, collecting and transforming, as she repositions the viewer’s relationship with the object and initiates a dialogue between metaphysical and material pursuits.
At the centre of Kher’s practice are her sculptures, early examples of which featured fantastical hybrid characters, blurring the distinctions between humans and nature, ecology and politics. In line with this early practice, Kher continues to assemble, juxtapose and transform found objects that are witness to their own histories. Wooden wheels and architectural remnants, mannequin body casts and pillars all clash in mis-en-scenes of dystopia and grand orchestration. These elements are assembled in a hazardous manner; suspended from the ceiling, hanging from ropes, propped up and held from falling with the help of counterweights and balances; ultimately forming a heterogeneous narrative in which Kher further explores the artistic strategy of stripping objects of their meaning and making them open to misinterpretation and magic, creating alluring works of abstract beauty.
Bharti Kher will be at Soneva Art & Glass at Soneva Fushi from December 5 to 22, 2021.