Today’s featured artist for the UJ Arts & Culture’s ‘The Pandemic Project’, is visual artist Tanisha Bhana. Her work, When the Earth Sighed, delves into the introspective reality that “the new normal” has presented us with in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the earth coming to a standstill, you might question the real purpose of life. For Bhana, this is a time to explore the common link that humans share with every object and organism.
“The natural phenomena of disease, in any form, acts as a means of balance. At any stage in the cycle of matter, some things thrive, and some waste away, some are composed together in living form, some invert, some decompose, all transform to become different things at different times,” says Bhana.
Bhana sees this pandemic, and indeed life itself, as a means to establish balance on an organic scale. The commonality of death brought on by disease is merely a reminder that there is life elsewhere, and that new or different life may occur due to the disease.
When the Earth Sighed echoes this concept by combining a range of materials. The artwork offers an amalgamation of organic and man-made found objects, transformed into something completely new and unrecognisable, thus, perpetuating the idea that something new can come from something discarded and useless.
Have a look at Tanisha Bhana’s ‘When the Earth Sighed’ and listen to the UJ Choir singing She Walks in Beauty – Paul Mealor (1974) Text: Lord Byron.
About Tanisha Bhana
Tanisha Bhana is a visual artist whose inspiration comes from a host of unlikely places. As an attorney in financial services, an entrepreneur, an organic farmer and a visual artist, Bhana knows how to view the world a bit differently than most. Bhana collects and inspects the world around her, creating art through photography and a variety of discarded materials, perishable objects and unusual media.
She has held solo exhibitions in South Africa and Germany, and her work has been included in exhibitions all over the world. Bhana’s work primarily speaks about rebirth, transformation and decomposition. This topic is not only echoed in the final product, but also in the materials used. She has also collaborated on works addressing war, women and the human spirit.