Cheryl Sim on the work of Bharti Kher
Bharti Kher is known internationally for her signature use of the bindi in works across painting, drawing, and sculpture. Derived from the Sanskrit word bindu—meaning point, drop, dot, or small particle—and rooted in ritual and philosophical traditions, the bindi is a dot applied to the centre of the forehead as a representation of a spiritual third eye. Kher claims this way of seeing by creating intensely layered and lavish ‘paintings’ that are charged with the bindi’s conceptual and visual links to ideas such as repetition, the sacred and the ritual, appropriation, and the feminine.
About Bharti Kher
Bharti Kher’s oeuvre spans more than two decades and includes paintings, sculptures, and installations. Throughout her practice she has displayed an unwavering relationship with surrealism, narrative, and the nature of things. Inspired by a wide range of sources and making practices, she employs the readymade in a wide arc of meaning and transformation. Kher’s works thus appear to move through time, using reference as a counterpoint and contradiction as a visual tool. Her chimeras, mythical monsters, and allegorical tales combine references that are at once topical and traditional, political and poetic. Kher studied her Foundation Course in Art and Design at Middlesex Polytechnic London, and received a fine art BA in painting, with honours, at Newcastle Polytechnic. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and has been included in scores of group exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide.
Bharti Kher: Artist Talk - PHI Foundation