Sheelasha Rajbhandari (b.1988) is a visual artist, cultural organizer and co-founder of the artist collective, Artree Nepal(2013) based in Kathmandu. She is interested in exploring alternative and plural narratives by learning the value of folktales, folklore, oral histories, mythologies, material culture, performance, and rituals and placing them as evidence, along with references to mainstream history and narratives. Her long term research projects and artistic practice often juxtapose these contradictions and synthesise the knowledge and experiences that result from individual and collective discourses. Through her works, she frequently tries to encounter the simple yet socially forbidden and taboo subject matters, with a focus on women’s struggles, celebrating their resilience. Her recent works explore the current transformation of Nepal from a once important centre for trans-Himalayan trade to a geopolitical situation in flux between the two emerging world powers of India and China. Rajbhandari is very careful about choosing materials and methods that align with her conceptual framework. She prefers mediums and materials that add meaning to ideas and have their own significance.
Sheelasha have been working collaboratively with Hit Man Gurung in multiple projects, including “12 Bishakh - Camp.Hub” Post Earthquake Community Art Project, in which they were Co-Artistic Directors. They are also co-contributors in several books like ‘Breaking Views’, ‘Absolute Humidity’ etc. Since 2017 Rajbhandari and Gurung have been continuously traveling in various places of Nepal and different countries for their long term research based collaborative project, “ Who Are The Heroes of Our Time? ” this series plays on the notion of shifting identity and belonging by interrogating the label of ‘a migrant worker’ and ‘a diaspora’ through participatory performances, visual documentation and archival approaches.
Sheelasha Rajbhandari completed her MFA from Tribuwan University’s Center Department of Fine Arts in 2014 after receiving her BFA from Kathmandu University’s Center for Art and Design in 2010. She worked as an instructor of Sculpture at Lalit Kala Campus, Tribhuvan University from 2012 to 2014. In 2020 Feb Artree Nepal was invited at Dhaka Art Summit's Collective Body Section. And in March Artree will be presenting their installation at Biennale of Sydney 2020 'NIRIN'. In 2019, her installation exhibited as part of ‘Nepal Art Now’ at Weltmuseum Wien, Vienna, Austria. She was invited to International Artist Residency at Bellas Artes Projects, Bataan, Philippines 2019. In 2018 her installation was exhibited as part of the traveling exhibition at Dhaka Art Summit, Para Site, Contemporary Art Center , Hong Kong, TS1 Yangoon and Museum of modern Art Warsaw,Poland and in 2019 at Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway .She exhibited at Serendipity Art Festival Goa on 2017. She was invited by ParaSite-Contemporary Art Center for International Artist Residency .She presented her work in Kathmandu Triennial 2017 . Her works were featured in the Built /Unbuilt:Home /City Community Art Project 2017 at Qatar and Nepal. Her art work was part of Artree Nepal ‘s open studio ‘The Work of Art is a Scream of Freedom ‘ 2017. Her artwork was exhibited as part of "Parallel Realities" show at Moesgaard Museum of Denmark in 2016. That same year, she was also selected for the “Asia Contemporary Exhibition” at Jeonbuk Museum in Korea. She was represented by Nepal Art Council for the India Art Fair in 2016.In 2013, she was invited by The Center for culture and Development, Denmark (CKU) to participate in the Images Festival. She was selected for the second Kathmandu International Arts Festival that took place in 2012. She has also exhibited with Asian Art Biennale (Bangladesh, 2010). Her solo show, “In -Between Uncommon Factors” was held at the Nepal Arts Council in 2010.
Rajbhandari works have been collected by art enthusiasts, Institutions and Museums including Samdani Art Foundation, WeltMuseum Wein Vienna etc.