The Shadows Between
Sangeeta Sandrasegar’s delicate paper and sculptural works form an allegory for a life lived between places, cultures and identities.
Sangeeta Sandrasegar’s work is best viewed at leisure. Glancing over
it creates a blurred effect that blends the sharp paper cut-outs into
an amorphous, shadowy form, literally perpetuating the concept of ‘in betweenness’ that her work so often engages with.
“To me, the shadows are a third space or a transitory space,” explains the Melbourne-based artist, referring to Indian-born critical theorist Homi K. Bhabha’s term for the ambiguous overlap that occurs when two cultures interact. “That’s why I started making the cut-outs: to create shadows. If we look at the shadow, it’s a visual representation
of explaining post-colonial theory and of there being an integral space that something good can come from,” she pauses. “Because in a way, that theory was a method of dealing with pain, wasn’t it?”
Articulation is an effortless skill for Sandrasegar. Not one for evasive statements, she possesses a chatty eloquence that suffuses her artist statements with animated expressiveness. It’s a lukewarm Sunday evening and Sandrasegar is waiting for me at a local bar in the inner Melbourne neighbourhood of Brunswick East. The bar is quiet as
I search amongst the solo patrons for the artist, only to find her at the counter amiably chatting with the bartender. It’s a quality intrinsic to her personality.
Though best known for her delicate paper cut-outs and longstanding interest in shadows as signifiers of a threshold, Sandrasegar initially focused on painting while at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA)
in the late-1990s, but soon found herself drawn... Subscribe to read this article in full
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