Artist Statement

My practice explores the contrasting and sometimes conflicting identities of a British Indian artist. I draw on the ritualistic practices and cultural traditions that have long influenced me and while my sculptures are a celebration of Indian culture and community, they are also a way to address my own relationship with my upbringing.

Growing up in the UK, surrounded by a large Indian community, I have always been drawn to the aesthetics and ritualistic elements of traditional ceremonies, but have also felt a tussle between two conflicting ways of life and have found myself struggling to meet all expectations. As a woman in particular, I experienced the pressure of trying to embody two starkly different gender expectations. In my practice I attempt to find an empowered space to connect with these visceral aspects of my heritage and explore the joys and challenges of growing up as a woman between cultures.

Engaging with diverse communities through workshops, interviews and audience participation is important to my practice as it opens up further exploration and deepens the research and outcomes for my projects. This engagement supports, inspires and informs my practice and the artworks I produce, and also allows for stories other than my own to emerge.

I work with a range of materials rooted in Indian traditions as well as found items to create structure. Working intuitively, I create organic shapes with materials such as Sari fabric, bells, glass beads, old clothes, steel, and ceramic beans. Texture is woven throughout my sculptures with delicate folds of fabric and elaborate bead work. I often create site-specific pieces, taking my cue from the environment that will house the work.

My sculptures present imagined stories that expand on ritualistic practices, myths, Indian astrology, migration, race, identity and gender. I question rigid ideas of ethnic identity through a fluid and open-minded exploration of my own experience and others. As a mother I have even stronger drive to create an inspiring example, challenging what it means to be a second-generation British Indian woman.


Born in Preston, England, and now based in Oxfordshire. I graduated from Central St Martins, London, with an MA in Fine Art in 2019. I have recently opened two solo shows; Interwoven at The Art House, Wakefield, and Ocean Mother at Orleans House Gallery, London. In 2022 I was commissioned by Clifford Chance, London, to create ‘Observational Realities’, two sculpture installations for their offices which was part of my 2020 win of the Clifford Chance Sculpture Prize. In 2022, I took part in Tate Lates’ panel discussion ‘She Made Me Do It’, exploring how women artists shape their practices and did a talk at the ‘Ways of Seeing Conference’ at the National Gallery in London, I was also awarded the British Arts Council Developing Your Creative Practice Fund. In 2019, I took part in Art Night, Hix Art, and Participatory Workshops at Tate Exchange. The same year, I was a finalist in the Hix Award, shortlisted for the Tiffany & Co x Outset Studiomakers Prize and won the Tension Fine Art Gallery Prize.

Copyright Saroj Patel 2022