I am a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, studied in MS University. Currently practicing in Bangalore, Karnaraka. My work has developed in number of ways over the years yet from the very beginning of my art practice, I have workded in Painting, Printmaking, Installation, Video Art and Live/ Performance art. My intention is to blend these mediums into an interdisciplinary language.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

In search of antidote

Performance at Rama Anjaneya Temple Venue, Hanumanth Nagar, 21st Dec 2014.

“In Search of Antidote” was a performance involved ritualistic act through body actions, to heal body and mind of the audience and myself. This performance was conceived keeping in my mind present social situation prevailing around the globe, enormous unrest among people around us. In this performance my main concern was to bring into notice various social issues that is against humanity and which provokes us for an action against widespread injustice. We are a social being and we confront number of social issues on everyday basis from corruption, injustice to crimes against women and communal violence. 

It looks like that we are constantly consuming these pressures/tensions of the society, to fight with emotional and mental level and we keep absorbing so called negativity, like a sponge which accumulates in our system like carbon of the earth. If we don’t burn out these negative energies into positive energy it will totally take us to the depth of its darkness. My performance was an attempt of a ritualistic act bringing cathartic effect on body and mind and cleanse purify body mind and our space and hope for a peaceful future by taking out, ejecting all the negativity through body actions, converting negative emotions/ forces into positivity.

The act was a ritualistic process both for my audience and me. My audience also vent out there emotions which were negative imprints of the society by impregnate the cow dung with negative words/emotions written on them which was given back to artists, artists then ritualistically tried to convert all those negativity into positive energy. The performance was a combined effort of my audience and me venting out negative thoughts and build positive hope for a positive social changes. This performance was incomplete without audience participation.


Dimple B Shah

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Small Piece of Earth in my Pocket

Performance at Swamy Vivekananda Metro, Bangalore, June 10th, 2014.

This was my last performance for month of June and for Live Art Lab, 2014. Concept of event was ‘Warp-Woof-Weft' at Vivekananda Metro, Bangalore. The central focus for the event was on the subject of art and craft. The location for the performance was Bangalore Santhe, a place created by Bangalore Metro to promote handicraft and small arts and crafts. We chose to work here keeping in mind the fact that crafty elements is missing in contemporary art scene, and generally artists hire local craftsmen to create their work instead of creating themselves. 

My performance for the event was titled “Small Piece of Earth in my Pocket”; I intended to focus on two aspects, one rapid development of urban space leading to constant demand for more land leading to deforestation and other harmful affects to the nature in large and the other aspect is constant shift of lifestyle that is inclined to fast-food culture and other unhealthy practices that is the root cause of all health issues and indirectly effecting the economy and farmers are dragged into this vicious trap. 

I used jute for costume and prepared the whole costume by myself to give personal touch and also involve my craftsmanship. I made number of pockets on the sack to keep small cups that had Ragi sprouts (Finger Millet) , since Ragi (Finger Millet) is the most indigenous crop, also blend of organic food and using jute was intentional since Jute crop is suggested to help conserve deforestation and jute in performance is also metaphorical playing same role. During the performance I tried to merge myself with plants and trees that were grown around on the pillars of metro, on the lane and then I dragged a Banana Tree which was already damaged, paid tribute to the dead tree with flower and then I walked to each audience and distributed cup of (Finger Millet) Ragi sprout that I had on my costume and later we also planted some in the garden there.

Dimple B Shah

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Goddesses from Common Grounds

A 4km group walk of students & local working ladies, Performance at Basavanagudi, 8th June, 2014.

This performance was Basavanagudi Live Art Projcects last performance and a major intervention. It was basically my reaction to harassment done to one women near Gavigangadesvara Temple. It was there in the news for quite long. One Auto driver harassed a group of women, though this place is much safe for women still one or two such incident happens. Recently crime rates have increased in this vecinity, this triggered the thought of doing a silent walk where household working women and college student would participate, it is basically to gain respect and dignity for women. 

The work was titled Goddesses from Common Grounds a group walk. In todays day to day life there is a never ending concern on safety of women in society, this performance is a small act to Reframe issues of women of all strata, the concern is same to gain importance of their dignity safety and respect.

Dimple B Shah

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Time Lapse - Reliving Past

Interactive Performative Installation & Perofrmance on the footpath, next to Ramkrishna Math, Basavanagudi, 7th June 2014.

A generation which ignores history has no past: and no future. 
- Lazarus Long, from the works of Robert Heinlein

Through this interactive performance audiance had a glimpse of bygone era, the sense of past, a journey and reflection of time to relive the time itself. This was done by showing small still moving images in a kaleidoscope box the old medium to reach out people in the present time. This medium was very popularly used in olden days, commonly used in villages, it is like bringing the past in to present.

The old indigenous kaleidoscope was designed in a new way, film positives of images from the past, where people could get the glimpse of that period. Through this interactive per formative installation. This performance was targeted all kinds of audience’s from School Children, Auto Drivers, Common people, Old people and Women. 

This performance is a journey in itself for me since from the time of hunting for old photos online and reading about them and learning more things which I didn’t knew like the history of National College, the first Abala Ashram and going through life of great personalities was indeed a great learning and inspiration for me. One really feels proud living in such a great place with so much history. The outer body of Kaleidoscope was mix of old imagery and flower print, I had also used custom made helmet which could display multiple portraits at a time, like turning pages of history book, with images of important people get registered and when you remember they pop up in our minds and I stood there wearing that helmet representing all those forgotten faces, it was very a tricky design to execute though, but this was a perfect match to represent all by one unknown.

The costume I had chosen again had to reflect time the pata-patti pant which was used in earlier days only few old people use it and you really need to hunt shop which sell this particular or you need to buy material and get it stitched. I went to shop where this man from past 60 year makes this and I got the costume made for this performance for my size and shop person also shared that now only few old people come there buy this since it no more popular now the track pants are popular.

Dimple B Shah

Friday, June 6, 2014

Law of Attraction

Performance on the pedestrians of National College and its surroundings, K R Road, Basavanagudi, 6th June 2014.

The fourth work in the series. intervention was with college students and common people who don’t know what they actually want, like If I had known early in my life my connection with art, it might have taken me to greater discoveries. Due to present day competitions and pressure, the younger generation is under lot of stress to choose fields which are more in demand rather than pursuing what their actual dreams are.

Through my Performance Intervention and Interaction, I wanted them to write and read what they actually want. I created a big mirror installation on which the audience was asked to write their dreams and that would be shown to the universe so that in some way their wishes would be fulfilled.  

This performance was based on the belief that "like attracts like" by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results. It is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from "pure energy", and the belief that like energy attracts like energy. A circular mirror was used to show their real dream and what actually they can become. The audiences were also given a small card with small mirror attached to it so that they could remind themselves and revisit again and again their actual self and dreams.

Dimple B Shah

Friday, May 23, 2014

Beauty of Innocence (The Bazaar Walk)

The Bazaar Walk, on the footpath of Bull Temple Road, Basavanagudi, May 23rd, 2014

"We may cherish every moment with each countless blooms of happiness of Nature…enter the cosmos of light enter in deep trance and I think this what bliss might mean and innocence of life mean."

The third intervention was in front of famous Bull Temple footpath, which is also a tourist spot, people around there made a mixed crowd, locals and tourists together. Metaphorically it was to connect the culture and beauty of the space, the flower market, and the vibrant color of Kumkum, the smell of flowers and essence of traditional area. Every time I pass by the Gandhi Bazaar market I sense a new life within me.

This performance was meant to highlight the charm of Gandhi Bazaar, which was an element of inspiration for this performance. The flower is very essential part of our culture and customs of the area. This event was also to metaphorically connect to the pure quality of flowers with the innocence of young children; it is basically to cherish the charm of innocence both in human and plant form. The presence of flowers, the life they symbolize, vibrant colors, and the fragrances bring out the best in life and celebrate beauty in all its glory. At another level it also connects to poets of the place and their poetry, how their poetry spread like fragrance through communities. Although a flower’s life span is short, it enhances our life with happiness. I dressed up with my hair in long plaits which I could adorn with wonderful flowers. I intentionally used elongated plaits to metaphorically show the extension of the celebration of happiness as well as innocence, and usually we exaggerate things when we celebrate. I distributed paper fans which had images of flower sellers and flowers.

My personal making of paper fans involved a ritualistic act of involving myself in an unselfish act of innocence over the period of a week. I could see the effect that the process had on me when I observed the photographs of the performance later. Next day my happiness reflected on my face during the performance. It is a personal journey to go within and search for those emotions and also reconnect to your childhood days. The Bull Temple was my favorite spot during my childhood days when I used to visit with my cousin sister to play in Bugle Rock; it was like revisiting the time again.

Every time I pass by the Gandhibazaar market I sense a new life within me. This performance is basically to highlight the charm of Gandhibazaar, and became an element of inspiration for this performance work. This performance will metaphor-ically connect to innocence quality of flower with young children, it is basically to cherish the beauty of innocence both in human and plant form.

The presence of flowers, The Life, Vibrant Colors, The Fragrances brings the life to its best form and celebrate the beauty in all its forms and at another level it also connects to poets, how their poetry spreads like fragrances of life. Although flower’s life span is short, they enchant our life with happiness. The small wind fan as a messenger…spreads the essence in the air. The red attire is to celebrate the life and warmness. The long hair plaits is extension of happiness and celebration.

Dimple B Shah

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Shadows Of The Past

Footpath next to Ramakrishna Math, Ramakrishna Circle, Basavanagudi, Bangalore, 2014

The second intervention of performance was basically to have interactive interventions with senior citizens who could share oral history of their period share more stories and talk about the time their experience. This performance was about making space for interaction and exchange ideas about the past with the people who have lived and experienced it. This space there was mix of present and past and future in making. This installation was traditional Chappra usually built for marriage occasion but I used it as small Mantapa, a stage where people could come and relax, hear audio, read books and also share their experiences and stories. So it was like small Palce to Sit (Katte) could come and relax. I had also lot of small book to read about philosophy, yoga and poems of DVG- Mannku Thimanna Kagga etc.

After the first event there was feedback from audience and the art fraternity. There were also demands from the public to give them space to share their experiences. I gave thought to it and carefully brought these elements into the program and reworked it along with the already planned second performance. The idea was to build a coconut leaf ‘Chappra’ (traditional festive shelter) and have seating arrangements for senior citizens in it so that they could enter into the shade, relax and hear an audio track before moving forward.

By improvising and modifying my idea to involve senior citizens for conversation, I gained the opportunity to document oral histories of the past of Basavangudi as experienced and remembered by them, since they were witness to it. 

The experience of this long duration interaction and performance was valuable since many senior citizens came forward to share their histories. For those who came in the morning, I had prepared a Kannada script about my concept; it had information about my work. Many could not respond immediately since they were passing by with some other work in hand but they returned later in the afternoon and shared amazing stories.

One man told two stories, one about a snake that understood human language and another about a person who could turn water into yellow color with his magical powers. One more person who is a history teacher in a local college had lot to share about the place. Later a gentleman came up with his own poetry written spontaneously after reading my script, and using information from that. He shared this with Mamta Sagar and other people around. The traditional Mantapa was further used by Mamta Sagar for her performance to narrate a poem on 'Kansugallu' ('Dreams') which she had collected from public interaction. We had also given empty cards to people much before performance to write two lines about dreams and many contributed for it. In an interesting case one lady was hesitant to share her dreams and Mamta had to tell her own dreams in exchange, and then she was ready to share.

I felt the Mantappa had created a great platform, a space where past, present and future came together. I had great sense of satisfaction after doing this installation and performance, though initially it was a challenge to find the right people to construct it.

Dimple B Shah

Friday, April 25, 2014

Conversation with Darkness

Project 560 (Art Adda) Performance at Old Coal Depot, 2014

In alchemy the matter that was there before all other matter is called the 'Prima Materia'. This was the original substance from which all alchemical transmutation manifested. Coal is the prima materia for the construction of diamonds. Over thousands of years through the alchemy of time, pressure and gravity forms the coal and the prima materia becomes the diamond. Through the prism the white light of the sun shines through. This light is broken up into the spectrum of colors that make up our world. So, through the process of the alchemy of our planet, the coal is compressed into the multifaceted crystal that shines the colors of black through its prism. But now these colors are not coagulated and mixed into the color black - they have been separated and shine with their own radiance. This is a great example of metaphor and how it relates separate items within the same universality. It can be said that the process of time and compression brought forth the diamond. The alchemical earth created this substance from the basest of matter. Within the confines of this matter was the diamond. It was always there - it just needed time and gravity to transmute.

This performance was to understand the journey of coal how it is related to spiritual, philosophical & environmental aspect of life. My attempt was to dwell in darkness of the coal in a metaphoric sense. 

Through this performance audience and I related ourselves to coal and went through the process to understand the journey of coal itself. The performance was essentially to sit on mound of coal and to become one and contemplate in its blackness or darkness something that is living through ages - 400 million years. 

The coal which is also called a fossil fuel because it was formation from the remains of vegetation that grew as long as 400 million years ago. It is often referred to as "buried sunshine", because the plants which formed coal captured energy from the sun through photosynthesis to create the compounds that make up plant tissues. The most important element in the plant material is carbon, through which gives coal most of its energy. In Alchemy the Alchemist often referred to it as a miner. Coal also fits into this symbolic motif. Its meaning has to do with digging deep into the Earth, (Earth symbolizes Nature in its primitive state) to find the Prima Material, of which coal is a symbol. Coal is carbon, life on Earth is carbon-based, and over time coal can be turned into a diamond. The goal of alchemy is to emulate this natural process, but do it much quicker. The coal miner seeks to turn his own body/mind (which metaphorically begins as coal) into the perfected stone that is a diamond.

Dimple B Shah

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Forgotten Faces Reliving Past

Basavanagudi Live Art Project performed at footpath next to Ramakrishna Math, 2014

"We need open minds and open hearts when we wrestle with the past and ask questions of it, and the answers it will provide are in nobody's pocket…We should let nobody tell us that they know all that it contains, or try to prescribe or constrain in advance what it has to tell us" - Eamon Duffy, "Faith of our Fathers".

This was my first performance for Basavangudi Project, this performance was about forgotten faces/looking back into important era, a period development of this area from days of its origin. The foundation laid down by great personalities. Remembering their contribution towards development of this area and overall society and looking at the transition over the decades and looking at the present issues connecting past and present.

Since it was first Intervention for this area, I wanted to flip the past to present and introduce my audience with cultural and heritage aspects of one of oldest area of Bangalore. In this performance I dealt with historical aspect of this area, people and issues of senior citizens. Through this performance my attempt was not only to introduce images of famous personalities of the area but also wanted senior citizens to come out and share their bit of past with us who were witness to that era. This was done by myself performing with costume of old time Jubba, Panche and Mysore Peta, my face was covered with black cloth metaphorically representing forgotten personalities and their contributions.

I was also carrying in my hand custom made umbrella with images of famous personalities which  metaphorical represented that we are under their shades and also I circulated one post card with above quotation to audiences and during  the performance I interacted with audience questioning whose image it was and  circulated copies of photos of famous personalities with their names on it, which audiences were suppose to take with them and dig into the history about them. In this process, to my surprise one senior citizen came out with enthusiasm and shared his experience and story of his time and also sang and narrated shloka. This performance was an attempt to reach all kinds of audience, from college students to local people, like auto driver, working women, senior citizens etc.

Dimple B Shah

Basavanagudi Live Art Project (Reliving Past, Present and Future) - Performances by Dimple B Shah

Basavanagudi Live Art Project (Reliving Past, Present and Future) is an Artist Initiative by Dimple B Shah funded by India Foundation for Arts through Project 560. The event will be from April 24th to June 8, 2014.

Basavanagudi is one of the oldest dwellings in the city and has many Temples, Religious Places and Oldest Educational Institutions that has rich history. People from this place has major contribution in the field of theater, Literature and Cultural Development of the City. The very well-known Lankesh Patrike is also based here and also notable theater personalities have grown up here. The Bull Temple, Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, Ramanjaneya Gudda / Temple, Ramakrishna Ashram, Shankar Math and The Flower Market in Gandhi Bazaar all these places have great relevance in the City Map and also played important role. There are many Educational Institution both in Engineering and Art Field that have great contributions to this area. Over the years despite many people migrating here from different places and part of city it has not lost its charm though the new flyover and construction of new metro line is redefining its beauty. Even today we meet lot of people living in old buildings that has history of 70, 80 years, and still exists representing the good old days and charm of that era. The project is basically to do intervention in form of performances in this area on streets of Basavanagudi. This Project is intent to build intervention in Public Space and create more space for Performances Art.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Awaiting the return of Golden Goddess - Live Performance

At Nimtala Ghat, Kolkata on 26th January, 2014.


Talking to Holy Ganges -The story is not new…I stand on river bank...in front of calm Ganges...which is reflecting the black city and hopeless lights…..the bodies getting heat of fire…the air is smelling death…mourning is everywhere…it is time to mourn for lost souls who were burnt to death….who were dragged, crushed, hit and brutalized they have come long way like these clay pots dragged along the way in small lanes, streets, roads, cities, and country. It time to heal our body and mind which is blacked with pain of lost souls…holy Ganges will you take...burden of these lost souls...We need to heal in mass we need to cover the burnt body we need to cover our wounds we need to heal our minds of not one but in mass, heals our minds and hearts blackened by pain we need the touch of golden Yellow we need touch yellow root…..are we Still Waiting for Golden Goddess..?? 


The last performance of KIPAF event was performed by me in Nimtala Ghats, where the cremations are done near river bank of holy Ganges. The performance was about mass healing where myself and my audience (common people) were healed in a ritualistic act by showering Golden turmeric on me and in exchange I was distributing turmeric root to heal my audience. This work was titled- 'Awaiting for the Golden Goddess', which was comment and concern on issues of rape, especially rape case which happened just two week before the event in Kolkata. This performance was about the use and throw attitude of people with respect to women. In this performance the Turmeric Herb stands for fertility sacredness and also healing elements for rape victims.

My attempt was to provoke general public to ask and make them think, sensitize about the issue and not just think but also act upon it when needed to pledge them in heart to create safe city for women and girls where they can move around safely. The women body needs to be sanitized and cleansed from wounds inflicted and it needs to be healed I walked with yellow dress naturally colored with turmeric water to symbolize the purity fertility, cleansing, Sanitizing and cleansing my body and also I representing the mass women Population, I walked with an audio speaker containing the news of rapes from all over India and cry sounds. The main purpose was to make them feel uncomfortable and provoke them to do something about it and also make an effort to think and act on it when required. I used hundred of small clay pot which is important  in every day culture, object used in  drinking tea and that form a essential element in representing Kolkata and Bengali culture in specifically. 

These Clay pots were tied to each other and were dragged in streets with rope and in process many broken and crushed Metaphorically representing position of women how women body is looked as object of use and throw and how women are carelessly looked up in our society, without much care although they are sensitive, essential and fragile which need to be taken care by us. Clay pots traditional also represented in Indian culture for women womb especially in Gujarat and Kolkata where Goddess Durga/Kali is celebrated as mother during Navrathri and Dasera festivals. 

These pots are lighted with lamps to celebrate the mother hood the power of women. The audience interacted in the ritualistic act of healing and cleansing body by applying the turmeric paste on me and thus participating in community effort to think about the issue.

Dimple B Shah
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