“The world within creates the world without”
Surbhi’s practice springs from her preoccupation with observing details that cannot be seen with the naked eye. She documented the innards of fruits and vegetables and subsequently got engrossed in using vegetable fiber to create paper. What began as a humble exploration during her residency programme is now the core of Surbhi’s practice.
Surbhi’s affinity with paper largely stems from the process of papermaking. The process of extracting the fiber from the chunks of mash, boiling, and filtering is a time consuming, physical and personal process. The involvement of the artist is such that the process allows her to slow down and find niches within it.
“This world of paper and its mysteries fascinates me; it engages me and I get lost within it. Meanwhile, there exists a bigger macro/micro of me using waste material, which is discarded and shunned by others. From my long hauls of finding these natural fibers, I ended up interacting with a lot of fruit sellers, juice stall owners, farmers, households and consumers very much like me. To most, this is a pure agricultural waste of plants parts, to me they are a roadway to unlimited possibilities.”
Surbhi Rathi graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU of Baroda with a Master’s Degree in painting. She is a recipient of the Kalpana Reddy Award. Surbhi lives and works in Surat.