Sheelasha Rajbhandari

 

Sheelasha Rajbhandari (b.1988) is a visual artist, cultural organizer, and co-founder of the artist collective, Artree Nepal based in Kathmandu. Her longitudinal research efforts are rooted in valuing quotidian and plural narratives, by weaving folktales, oral histories, and performative rituals as a juxtaposition to conventional historiography. Civilization within the Kathmandu Valley mapped its layout and boundaries upon the primordial, aniconic shrines of ajimas (grandmother-goddesses), whose powers bestowed protection and prosperity. Rajbhandari’s practice confronts how, even within matricentric landscapes, patriarchy’s fragility manifests itself through the control and subjugation of female corporeality and sexuality. The experiences of women and their agencies are often erased, and their bodies become contested political sites for contemporary nation-states; a phenomenon that parallels the dismantling of feminal geologies and sites in acquisitive societies. Her art moreover reclaims and recovers the somato-cosmic omnipresence of femininity through an intentional hodgepodge of memories, myths, and realities that intersperse and intersect time and space.She is one of the co-curators of the Kathmandu Triennale 2077 and 12 Baishakh - Post Earthquake Community Art Project alongside Hit Man Gurung. 


 

Rajbhandari completed her MFA from Tribuvan University in 2014. In 2020, as a part of Artree Nepal, the collective was invited for the Dhaka Art Summit and “NIRIN” Biennale of Sydney. From 2018 till 2020, her installation in “A  beast, a god and a line” was exhibited at the Dhaka Art Summit; Para Site, Hong Kong; TS1, Yangon; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway; and MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai. She has also been invited to International Artist Residencies at the Bellas Artes Projects, Bataan in 2019, and Para Site, Hong Kong in 2017. Her works have furthermore been exhibited at the Weltmuseum Wien, Vienna in 2019; Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa in 2017; the Kathmandu Triennale in 2017;

 

Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus in 2016; and the Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Wanju-gun in 2016. Her solo show, “In -Between Uncommon Factors,'' was held at the Nepal Arts Council, Kathmandu in 2010. Rajbhandari's art is represented in private and institutional collections such as Kadist, Samdani Art Foundation, and Weltmuseum Wien.