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Sarika Goulatia

– [ ] “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do so little”
Mixed media
Price on request

Please contact Lead Curator Andrew Cohen at acohen@annarborartcenter.org if you’d like to purchase this piece.

Sarika Goulatia


Official Sites: Website | Instagram

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Sarika Goulatia is an Asian American artist. She was born in India and immigrated to the United States in 2002. Goulatia has a master’s in Textiles Design and Development (printing, surface embellishments, and weaving) and did residencies in rural India, England, Hong Kong, and the United States. In 2004 she changed her career path and received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University where she successfully completed her bachelor’s in two years. As a diaspora artist, her work stems from the intersection of her dual national identity; the synergy of this distinctiveness allows her to break through cultural barriers. Goulatia is a visual artist best known for her large-scale visceral sculptures and installations. Her artistic practice touches on the frailty of human experience, often drawing on personal challenges and socio-political and cultural issues affecting our society. Her work ranges from sculpted ceramics to cast bronzes and aluminum, assemblages using found objects, fabricated acrylic panels, digital prints to nail, pin drawings on wood and paper.

Goulatia has had solo exhibitions at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and was named the Emerging Artist of 2016. She has exhibited work in group and solo shows through the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for the International Society of Sculptors Conference (2016) and as part of the India in Focus Festival (2015). Important group exhibitions include shows at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art (2016/2019), The Mine Factory (2013 and 2015), the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh’s Annual at the Carnegie Museum of Art (2016), and Double Consciousness at the Mattress Factory Museum (2007).

Goulatia was the recipient of the prestigious 2017 Carol R. Brown Award Creative Achievement Award, provided through the Investing in Professional Artists grants program, a partnership of The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation. She is also the recipient of the Sally Gehl, Samuel Rosenberg, and Elizabeth Jones Award in Humanities and Art at Carnegie Mellon University (2006). She has been awarded residency/exhibition opportunities at Neu Kirche, the Alloy at Carrie Furnace, and The Facebook Open Arts Residency.

Her site-specific public works include Shade-Sail- a community-based project done through Neu Kirche and The Children’s Museum in Deutchetown. Sculptures inspired by the stories of the steelworkers related to their life at the mill installed at the Carrie Furnace. Her work “a million marks of home, revisited” is installed at the Tryp hotel in Pittsburgh. Goulatia recently completed a Facebook residency and installed a large-scale installation at their Pittsburgh office that alludes to displacement, gentrification and references our industrial past. Her ongoing community-based project prosecutrix, funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education focuses on telling the stories of sexually assaulted victims without victimizing them.

Goulatia has been on the Pittsburgh Art commission since 2017 and she is on the board of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and a proud member of the #notwhite Collective. Her mission is to create works that elevate and make visible the stories of others.


ARTIST STATEMENT

“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do so little”

as worlds turn reflective
craving more,
a monstrous tide, a hurricane
storms smashing
seas angry whipping against the shore
unsuspecting, hunting
our license brief, unlikely to be renewed
drought and famine
cracking the surface of the earth
fires burning angrily
we ignoring

the burning Earth pleading, warning, crying,
yet strengthened
questions yet to be answered
is it too late to undo the cuts on the flesh?
face the truth – explain, distinguish
what we know from what we believe
the overwhelming evidence presented,
yet deliberately we ignore,
acutely aware yet unaware
what are we doing?
raising our glasses to the vagaries of fate?

unprecedented, unthinkable, distant, uncertain, and incomprehensible
the devastation, shocking
we believe
carbon a universal element
the government wants control
it all boils down to power and politics?

not much hope
we think- abstract, distant, invisible, disputed
no pressing deadlines
the threat is real, lingering, going on and on
not believing or immobilized
silence about the silence
meta-silence it is

believe what you want to believe
uncertainty as a justification for inaction?

the pen is leaking, spilling, messing our clothes
but what about oil, burning destroying
our society advanced?
choosing to destruct itself
the earth in process,
passing into morbid fever
finally the state of coma and then death.

the myth of permanence lingering
the belief, it will adapt
there ceases to be the prize
imperceptibility
our tissue wrapped perspective
to be ripped
what matters is the sudden breadth of vision
stop.stop.stop.


CREATIVE PRACTICE

I am an immigrant artist, a woman of color, and a mother to two children. As an immigrant who has always tried to assimilate, I had a rude awakening when Trump got elected and the Charlottesville riots took place that my kids, my husband and I and all who looked like us would always be the other because of the color of our skin, our accent, the language we speak or the religion we chose to follow or not follow. Microaggression and institutionalized racism made me angry with myself for feigning obliviousness, hiding my accomplishments, appeasing incongruities. My natural progression in my work started moving towards projects that addressed issues of social/political justice through my individual works that affect our society at large and if not addressed will affect the next few generations.

I explore ideas of modern society’s views on rights for women, subjugation of minorities, capitalism’s impact on climate change, and the effect of social media on mental health. I challenge thoughts and express raw emotions of empowerment in my work. I try to engage people to dialogue, think and contemplate and hope the work provokes them to react and feel in a way that changes society towards a more equitable future. The impetus for my work came from me dreaming of a day when we stop being the perfunctory minority who brings pleasant diversity to a white workplace, the day we are free of labels and spend less time cautiously positioning our words, our gestures, our clothes, our food, our surroundings so that we fit in and don’t appear threatening, unusual or unappreciative.

I have a studio where I create my work.


EXAMPLES OF ARTIST’S WORK


IN THEIR STUDIO