Smita Sen 

Into Light, Into Light
(M. Altar #2)

“In my work, I create environments for meditative healing. Building on this fundamental objective, the installation, Into Light, Into Light (M. Altar #2), is an altar dedicated to honoring those loved and lost, and to caregivers who shoulder the burden of loss. This piece invites visitors to sit and to honor not only the memories of their loved ones, but also the transformations that have reshaped their bodies in the process of losing those they love. This altar is part of the Manipura series of works developed since 2018. In the wake of my father’s diagnosis and subsequent passing, I began to create sculptural memory objects and altars to honor caregiving in times of illness. Continuously evolving, the Manipura series has included a performance for the Bard College Disturbance Lab (2018) the production of an art book and sculpture series, Manipura: Of Flowers and Bones (2019), and, in the next stage of its evolution, will include honorific sites of reflection, meditation, and offering. In this moment of collective trauma, it is my hope that this altar, Into Light, Into Light (M. Altar #2), creates an opportunity to honor the divine, memorialize those lost, and to worship all that we hold within ourselves.”

Smita Sen is a visual artist working with sculpture, dance-based performance, and advanced technology to research how the body is shaped by its environment. Sen’s work has been shown at venues like Bard College, Anthology Film Archives, the Knockdown Center, and ISSUE Project Room. Sen was a fellow at the Mildred’s Lane residency (2018) and received the Instigator Fellowship from NYU ITP Camp (2018). Sen was a Visiting Artist at the Bard College Disturbance Lab and has given talks and workshops at Columbia University, Bard College, NYU ITP Camp, and LRLX NY. In 2021, she will serve as an artist-in-residence at Recess (New York, NY). Sen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University with a BA in the Visual Arts (2016). She is currently teaching and designing the Emerging Media program at Choate Rosemary Hall