Shaina Nikam

Stretched Too Thin

Shaina Nikam

For her first exhibit, refusing to be boxed in by one specific theme, style, or message, Shaina Nikam panicked when it came to labeling her show. “Why Does Everything Have to Make Sense” was born from this panic. Does art even make sense? You, the viewer, make sense of it. But before you process what’s in front of you, through your personal reality, there’s a split second where art is purely stimulus being sensed by sense organs. She hopes to leave the viewer of 10 artworks, slightly flummoxed. Spend some time in that split second before things make sense: if they ever do. Bold, crisp and unapologetic she tells us all about the new exhibit and what her practice stands for.

Tell us about yourself and what led you towards the arts?
I attended school at so and so and graduated from etcetera etcetera. I now work closely with yada yada. The "arts" happened to me when I realised that the world, for no fault of its own, wants to put people in a box to understand them better. The most dynamic and wonderfully neurodivergent people around me found organised ways to describe, portray and express themselves using said box, at the same time not being clobbered in by its walls. The arts, whether it's daily theatrics, pencil to paper or eating my sushi with molagapodi on it, is how I started to discover myself.

What does your practice stand for?
I'd like for my art to put the word "confusion" into a new light. Why need we be so "sure of ourselves" at all times? Why is it called an identity crisis and not an identity bloom? It feels like people are so shaken up by the undiscovered parts of themselves, the parts that are yet to make sense in tandem with each other and the world. Headless chicken adventures are lovely when you embrace them. 

Shaina Nikam R: don't take it out of cortex

L: cat

R: don't take it out of cortex

Take us through some of your initial thoughts about this solo exhibition?
It began with #365DaysOfTrying wherein I forced myself to create one piece of meaningful art everyday. (I was inspired by a person in my life that writes a poem everyday) "Meaningful" quickly morphed into a grand multitude of abstract things. In addition to my sketches, they included vibrators and pee sprays sitting side by side in a display box on the wall at Method. A visual simulation of how one would look in a parallel universe whilst still being in this one. While the last 2 didn't pan out due to lack of time, I'm taking the chance to mention them here so as to give them a small life of their own on the outside of my brain.

What did your creative process look like?
There's chopped up lacy thongs that I use as a stencil for patterns, podcasts about dark matter, a whisky coffee at 9:45am, a quick self given haircut between sketches, dressing up in my favourite swimsuit paired with a splash of wedding jewellery. Basically everything that makes me FEEL is part of the creative process, whether or not you see it on the wall.

Have you discovered your voice as an artist?
Yes and no.

Finally, what's keeping you busy right now?

The show will be on display at Method, Bandra till 20th September.

Date 09-09-2022

Shaina Nikam R: Malaise and Madam Awry

L; Loop Whole Small

R: Malaise and Madam Awry