Sculptor Sheela Gowda builds her installations from profoundly humble materials, including cow dung, incense ash and the tar drums used as temporary homes by road workers in India. She originally trained as a painter at the Royal College of Art in London, and turned to sculpture during the Bombay riots of 1992. In response to the rise of Hindu fundamentalism, she began incorporating substances and processes from traditional Indian culture: cow dung, for instance, has sacred implications but is also used as a domestic cooking fuel and building material. The resulting work blurs the line between fine art and craft, and between creative, political, and domestic spaces. This first comprehensive monograph includes two interviews with the artist, whose work has been seen at the Walker Art Center and the Asia Society.
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About the Author
Sheela Gowda, born in 1957, trained as a painter at several art institutions in India, and in London. Her work has been included in several curated shows, including How Latitudes Become Forms at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis 2003) and Traditions/Tensions: Contemporary Art in Asia (Asia Society, New York, 1996). Upcoming projects include Documenta XII in Kassel, Germany in 2007. The artist currently lives and works in Bangalore, India.