Art Activity

Your Art Assignment with Manjari Sharma

Share with
Google Classroom

Manjari Sharma is the featured artist in the BMA’s current exhibition Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen and she has assignment just for you!

After watching the above video, students will be tasked with making a staged photograph inspired by Manjari Sharma’s full-size diorama style photos.

This project can be done in groups, pairs, or individually. It is up to the teacher.

We would love to see what you guys create. Submit the Sharma inspired photos to [email protected] and we will feature your students work on the website!

After completing the activity, students will be able to:

  • Work with a camera
  • Design and build a set
  • Learn how to use iconography, symbols, and objects to make a character recognizable
  • Make the connection between art, photography and identity
  • Gain insight into who the character they chose is


  • A camera, phone, or other device to take a photograph
  • Pen and paper (to make a list of character traits and props)
  • Lights
  • Items needed to stage the photo
    • costumes
    • props
    • cardboard
    • paint
    • large cardboard box (if making a diorama frame)


  1. Watch the video above for the assignment (If students have not already, have them watch the Meet the Artist video provided in the Related Resource section below).
  2. Divide students into groups, pairs, individuals, or even make this a project where the entire class can work together.
  3. Students will then think of a character who inspires them. This can be someone they know, someone famous, or even a fictional character.
  4. They will then write a list of traits that define that character. Think whether this character has a specific weapon, or costume, or items that are associated with the character to make them recognizable.
  5. Then decide what type of environment the character should be presented in. The forest, the sky, in a classroom, etc.
  6. Make a list of props, costumes, and materials needed to build a set or a diorama. If in groups, decide who will be the model, who will be the photographer, etc.
  7. Construct a set with layers. There should be a foreground, middleground, and background for the character to pose in. (If making a diorama, it is ok to use a large cardboard box to create the layers and use it as a frame. But be sure to have some sort of background as well.
  8. Once the set is constructed and the model is dressed as the character, adjust lighting and take several photographs until they get the best shot.


Have the students compare their photographs. Then ask them to say or write a description about the character they chose, what items they used to define the character, and what materials they used to construct their set.

Be sure to submit the finished product to [email protected] with a paragraph or more telling us about the work so we can feature it on the website!


Click through the images below to see more behind-the-scenes shots of Manjari’s large-scale diorama photo sets.

And 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.


Related Resources