Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Conversation with Manjari Sharma

© Manjari Sharma

Last year Manjari Sharma was a winner of the Eye on the Strand Contest and that is how I was introduced to Manjari's work. Her landscapes of her native India made me long for travel and I was intrigued by her portrayal of water. An element she grew up near and clearly has a special connection to.
Manjari since has embarked on a new series in which she photographs strangers in her shower. This daring project has yielded remarkable portraits of instant intimacy that are sometimes melancholic, often fragile and always beautiful and powerful.

© Manjari Sharma

NP: Tell us a little about yourself.

MS: Born and raised in Mumbai, India and miss home often. I believe it's very important to go
away in order to love again. I love food and I love surrounding myself with driven people.
I think its terrific if one can find the ability to laugh at oneself and I've
been known to be that girl, but its equally important to cry and allow yourself to feel broken;
I know I have felt that way and I am certainly a better person for that.

© Manjari Sharma

NP: How did you discover photography?

MS:I was handed a Kodak film point and shoot, it's what we took on our road tripping family vacations through India. I was always the kid lining up the family and wasting way too many rolls of film on everything my heart responded to. I never thought of Photography as a career. I wanted to be a dietitian and take up food and nutrition until a new course was offered in my university in Mumbai. I was the second name in the list to be accepted for this fresh visual communication course. I had no Idea my first SLR, a Nikon FM 10, would change my life forever.

© Manjari Sharma

NP: Where do you find inspiration?

MS: Everywhere I go. But certainly a lot from movies. I do freeze frames and study light when I can. I leave no chance to miss my favorite photo artists when exhibited. Recent inspirations have been Katy Grannan, Hellen Van Meene, George Georgiou. Recently a Jörg Colberg and Robert Lyons workshop that I was selected to be a part of was extremely inspirational.
Shape of a Pocket written by John Berger a suggested reading tip from Robert Lyons was also recently incorporated into the all-time inspiring list for me. An Indian artist whose poetry never fails to inspire me is Mirza Ghalib.

© Manjari Sharma

NP: How do your projects come about?

MS: Often think of an idea for a while, allow it to marinate, read more about it and discuss it with trusted friends and family.
I have come to understand that its important to let a concept age as a thought and mature as a plan until its finally time to execute it.
Sometimes none of the above occurs, sometimes an image or a visual paves the way for a idea and the rest is history. I think how you arrive at your idea is important but how much to let it consume you and develop is just as important if not more.

© Manjari Sharma

NP: What’s next?

MS: Working on getting some play to my current project the Shower Series that I was working on for most of the year. The work on the project will continue but it certainly ready to be viewed and shared. A new project is in the works and new utterances of it will be shared on the blog ( soon!

To see more of Manjari's work please visit

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