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I am a London based artist from South India.I have a Masters in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art (2019 - 2021) which I undertook after completing my BA in Fine Art from the University of Arts London in 2019 (Wimbledon College of Arts) and a Diploma in Fine Art in 2013.


My work reflects my lived experience, sparked by incidents that may have interested me and merge onto the larger political context to give voice to the marginalised, under-represented and overlooked. It is grounded on the state of present times in terms of world politics, culture, post-colonial studies and social justice with particular emphasis on the status of women and migrant communities. My practise is research-based cutting across various media and art forms, including video, performance, ceramics and sound and aims to question the status quo to re-imagine the notion of ‘belonging’.


At the heart of my practice is the idea of hybridity, and the (naive) insistence that inter, and intra-nationalities can do more; they can make futures in which we are not opposites but extensions, additions, alloys, alchemical integrations and disjointed unifications. In my embroidered tapestries indigenous worldviews and vernacular knowledge systems are presented through the lens of living in and between different spaces, cultures, and languages. Combining traditionally hand-crafted techniques such as embroidery, tufting and weaving, my work draws upon the entanglements that a hybrid nation(ality) entails.


The autobiographical and fictional narratives in my projects explore infinite and unforeseen possibilities for our entanglement with each other. I present a multiplicity of viewpoints and voices through the lens of my experience of living in and between different spaces, cultures and languages. I make installations that are related to existing reality and yet at the same time point beyond it. Each of the projects I undertake is a process of unravelling that starts small with an idea or an image to something that takes on a personality of its own. The scale of every project varies depending on the theme, space that its being shown in, the materials used and how the viewer might navigate around it. Ultimately my sculptures hope to build a dialogue with the architecture to make for compelling installations.


During the last year in lockdown, working in a home studio has allowed me to approach my working methods differently, but still be ambitious with materials, scale and in learning new skills. The studio for me is also a psychological space for filtering, synthesising and editing information gathered, and to understand how to process my encounters within the landscape of that information.


The trajectory of my project this year started with my learning to read and write my mother tongue Tamil, online from May of 2020. The intention was to not only to reconnect with my heritage but also to find a sense of 'belonging' within the diaspora in the UK. I clocked the feeling of longing and nostalgia I felt while seeing the script come alive with every week and used it to push towards understanding the idea of identity, sovereignty, nationhood and diaspora. As an Indian-British citizen, the critical edge of the work was also to question boundaries, the borderlands, exile, otherness, strangeness and foreignness as diasporas communities deal with life. I have made many iterations with the concept, experimenting with fabric, installations, performance and a film.

As part of my practise, I was able to engage with the local Tamil diaspora (the diaspora includes communities both from South India and Sri Lanka). I have collaborated with classical dancers and together have choreographed dance routines and I am part of the Tamil Museum project in London.

I was awarded the RCA Gilbert Bayes Sculpture Award for 2021 for my work.

Divya Sharma Gallery .jpg
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