Bhogi Pallu, a mixed-media installation using block prints
Studying art at Peddie not only helped Isha '21 discover the particular mediums she enjoyed working with; it also pushed her to be more open-minded, flexible and experimental.
By Isha Bhandaru '21
As a kid, I would scribble on pieces of paper, create works with Legos and other materials and surround myself with art. I finally got proper training in art in seventh grade, when I took my first art elective, in which I learned how to do pencil and colored pencil drawings.
At Peddie, I wanted to continue my journey as an artist, but thought that the only medium I could use was pencil. After taking Art Foundations as a freshman and Mixed Media as a sophomore, I realized that there were so many more forms I could explore and experiment with. Soon mixed media became one of my favorite mediums. After joining Honors Studio Art as a senior, I was introduced to installation pieces, or 3D artworks, which often transform a space. I immediately fell in love. During my time here, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and have been guided to try new things. It helped me develop technical skills and solidify my interests, and has transformed me into a more daring and strong artist.
Unlike many of the other artists in Honors Studio, I never took AP Studio Art as a junior, so I never experienced a ‘normal’ intensive year-long art course. And there were definite changes I had to make to my process because of the pandemic. It has taught me to be more open-minded, flexible and experimental with my works. I have to have multiple versions of ideas until they are finalized to make them pandemic- and fire-safe. Being a hybrid day student has also taught me time management with art as I work throughout the week in class and outside of class: coming to school to install, and doing prep work at home.
The pandemic (and longer delivery times) makes me look at what I have in my backyard, in the classroom or at stores. For my piece Into the Scar, I utilized materials from my home which related to my culture such as dried chili peppers, salt and lime. Covid-19 has transformed me into an inventive artist, as I now love using unconventional materials and trying new mediums. Recently, I learned how to do block prints and incorporated them into my latest installation called Bhogi Pallu.
It has been relatively easy to find inspiration for my work, but deciding and solidifying an idea was often a challenge. I find that I am able to come up with many different renditions and ideas responding to various subject matters, and the pandemic has taught me to be decisive and follow through. This way of working has helped me create pieces that I love and am proud of from beginning to end.
Honors Studio made me into a confident artist. It has helped me think outside the box and try new things and has helped me find the specific parts of art which I enjoy and want to pursue in the future.