M Shanthamani explores the aftermath of transition and transformation through cultural impacts. As growing materialism creates a loss of values, the artist reminds us that happiness does not cost a thing. She shows us that life is removed from existence, the spiritual is forgotten, culture is lost, traditions are history, and everything is reduced to a label ‘made somewhere’. Shanthamani uses fragmentation in all mediums and symbolism in order to help Man recognize and understand what is changing, that we are at the last stage before ashes. Her use of charcoal represents the depletion of our natural resources and the destruction of industrial development. Shanthamani’s sculptures are rustic charcoal bricks combined as an allegory on the passage of existence in a sensual figure. Shanthamani’s works are introspections on the inner consciousness as it mutates with time and slowly becomes a pile of pieces burned by the combustion of life.
Shanthamani was born in 1967 in Mysore, Karnataka. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from CAVA, Mysore and her Master of Fine Arts in Painting from M S University, Baroda. She has also completed a papermaking Course in Glasgow, Scotland. Shanthamani has received many awards such as the National Junior Fellowship from Ministry of Tourism and Culture, New Delhi for 2006-08 and the Charles Wallace Scholarship to work in Glasgow, UK for the year 2004. Shanthamani’s recent solo exhibitions have been ‘Frozen Phoenix’ at Gallery Sumukha in 2008, ‘Silent Speak’ at Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai and ‘Gestures Speak’ at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore & Chennai. She has participated in many artist camps, workshops and group shows in India and abroad including a show curated by Prof. Prem Singh for Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in Sri Lanka in 2006, ‘Turning Wheel-Tradition Unbound’, curated by Dr. Alka Pande at India Habitat Center, New Delhi in 2005, as well as the 46th National Exhibition, New Delhi in 2003. Shanthamani’s works are part of many prestigious private collections in India and abroad including the Venkatappa Art Gallery-State Government Museum, Bangalore. The artist lives and works in Bangalore, India.