Artist Manjari Sharma makes work that is rooted in portraiture and addresses issues of identity, multiculturalism, and personal mythology. Her Darshan series is featured in the BMA’s current exhibition Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen (open March 19, 2022 – January 15, 2023).
Manjari’s series began as a multiyear, crowdfunded project through the online platform Kickstarter. She aimed to photographically recreate the experience of encountering nine Hindu deities in temple settings, a project which required the cross-continental organization of a large team of models and craftspeople. An extraordinary aspect of Sharma’s work is her commitment to creating each scene without digital manipulation. All items visible in the images were present when photographed, not digitally added later. The Birmingham Museum of Art is the only institution to have the entirety of the Darshan series in its collection.
Watch the two videos below to learn more about the artist and her work!
Get to know Manjari Sharma. What Manjari discusses in this video will help students prepare for their art assignment from her!
Watch Manjari’s video for her Kickstarter campaign from 2011. This video gives a total overview of her project and will provide additional tips for students when creating their own Manjari inspired staged photograph.
To access exclusive digital content, as well as deep dives on each of the nine deities featured in this exhibition, open the link the below.
And be sure to participate in Manjari’s art assignment for students featured below in the Related Resources section below!