Dr. Seema Bhalla
Dr. Seema Bhalla is an Art Historian, independent researcher, curator, and critic. Her areas of interest include Heritage, Culture, Art- traditional & contemporary, Architecture, Textiles, Jewellery and objects of antiquity. Her degree of Ph.D. was the beginning of her ongoing research in identifying the living artists/masters of traditional Indian miniature painting as well as the comparative study of the contemporary vocabulary of miniature painting in India and Pakistan. She bases her projects on academic research, which are conceptualised and directed by her. The narrative is rendered in the visual medium of Indian Miniature Painting. She works with various traditional artists, mostly unknown, bringing to life their potential, craftsmanship, and talent. Each work of art is a collaborative venture of 3-6 artists. The artists are selected on the basis of their specific area of expertise. The work completed by one artist, under the direction of Seema Bhalla, is then personally collected and given to another artist, in accordance with his area of competence. Hence, each work of art travels between different artists who might or might not reside in the same city and state of India. The end product is a true labour of love. The purpose behind this is to support the dying art of Indian miniature painting and encourage these artists to exercise their tradition towards creativity. She creates a contemporary vocabulary by including elements belonging to different centuries and different geographic placements. The works thus created are essentially based on tradition and academic research. Seema Bhalla encourages the revival of the usage of natural pigments, some of which are long forgotten. Each work of art, prepared with traditional technique also includes certain materials, the making of which is on the verge of extinction. Hand beaten gold and silver leaf is one such ancillary material, the traditional technique of which is limited to less than six families. Her constant endeavour is to work with and revive the extinct schools of Indian miniature paintings, various traditional materials and techniques. Each work of art holds its unique importance as it is the last of its kind as the artist who has created it would be the last of the living masters of Indian miniature painting.