Manju Sharma (b. 1972, India), was brought up in the UK, and now lives and works in Zeist, The Netherlands. She holds a Post Doctorate in Accountancy (2003) from the Vrije University, Amsterdam and BA in Fine Arts (2017) and MA in Fine Arts (2019) from HKU, Utrecht. In her practice, Sharma examines the concepts of heritage, foreignness, and identity. Through the personal, and the everyday, she unfolds narratives imbedded in social and political landscapes. The artist likes to experiment with various mediums and writing forms an integral part of her process.

Previous group exhibitions stemming from her Bachelors, include Eenheid in Verscheidenheid (Unity in Diversity), Gallery Wit, Waginingen, NL (2018); Sporen (Traces) SBK, Amsterdam, NL (2018), Kunst Rai, Amsterdam, NL (2018), ARTificial ? Gallery Sanaa, Utrecht, NL (2017), and Artspotting Dutch National Bank, Amsterdam, NL (2017). In 2015, she was an artist in residence at the AFAD Bratislava, Slovakia.

Journey

1972:   Born on July 3, India, but according to Marguerite Yourcenar your place of birth is your first memory.

1973:   1 year old

1974:   2 years old: Moved to England, but the cow, goat and mango tree were not a part of my luggage.

1975:   3 years old. First memories.

1976:   4 years old: A five penny piece got stuck in my throat. I managed to remove it with my fingers.

1977:   5 years old: A boy bit into my right arm at a nursery. It did not hurt. I still have a small scar on my arm, but you can hardly see it anymore.

1978:   6 years old: Mum started showing signs of depression, or that was when I started to notice it.

1979:   7 years old

1980:   8 years old: Michael pushed me into wet cement on the pavement leaving my footprint on my street for years.

1981:   9 years old: My brother told me that I was going to be married-off soon.

1982:   10 years old: Checked how much my feet had grown against my footprint in the cement.

1983:   11 years old: Deliberately failed in an exam because I did not want to go to an all-girls school.

1984:   12 years old: Started my menstruation.

1985:   13 years old

1986:   14 years old

1987:   15 years old: Realised that I made a mistake choosing this secondary school.

1988:   16 years old: Choosing A-Levels. Are you ready to be an artist?    

1989:   17 years old

1990:   18 years old

1991:   19 years old: Attended Kingston Business School, and visited the art department.

1992:   20 years old: Lived the American dream for a year.

1993:   21 years old: Met a girl that was graduating from St Martins. 

1994:   22 years old: Visited India for the first time. Graduated in Business and Finance.

1995:   23 years old: Tried smoking marijuana; was not successful.

1996:   24 years old: Still did not fit in. Moved to Holland.

1997:   25 years old: Started working at Ersnt & Young International Department, Amsterdam.

1998:   26 years old

1999:   27 years old: Tracey Emin “Bed” nomination of the Turner Prize. I had a well-paid job, a car, and a house.

2000:   28 years old: Travelled in Kenya.

2001:   29 years old: Travelled in Alaska.

2002:   30 years old: Travelled in Costa Rica. Passed my Chartered Accountant exams. Still did not fit in.

2003:   31 years old: Realised that money can make life easier but not necessarily happier.

2004:   32 years old: Carried on working as an Accountant. I felt like a fraud. Pretending to be something. Moved to Greece. Stopped working, and realised how important light is.

2005:   33 years old: Mella was born. She fitted in.

2006:   34 years old

2007:   35 years old: Jay was born. He fitted in.

2008:   36 years old: Moved back to Holland.

2009:   37 years old: Decided to go to art schoolJ. Are you ready to be an artist?

2010:   38 years old

2011:   39 years old

2012:   40 years old: Laila told me that I am always saying sorry.

2013:   41 years old: Found out that I am too old to be considered for as a young artist according to the art world. I was already written-off before I got started. Travelled in New Zealand.

2014:   42 years old: Moved to Bratislava. Are you ready to be an artist?  Yes. But how, when nobody is looking for you?

2015:   43 years old: Had a tumour removed from inside my head. Gave up my RA title.

2016:   44 years old: Went to visit Kafka’s grave. Moved back to Holland. Back to art school. Back to chasing a dream.

2017:   45 years old: Graduated from HKU Art Academy, Utrecht. Travelled to Tanzania. Got invited to participate in exhibitions. Felt insufficient so I signed up for the Masters Programme, and got accepted. Sold my car and started to use the public transport.

2018:   46 years old: Mum passed away in her sleep in the morning. Sunny followed soon after and then in the during New Year’s 2019 Dad passed away in the early morning. All three in their beds.  My dog Troy was born. We brought him home in October.

2019:   47 years old: Dealing with my silence, I wished to break through the 4th wall. Heritage, citizenship and identity become urgent matters, because of Brexit, and the current migration situation. Having difficulties with my dog. Not all dog owners are social. Got my Masters in Fine Art 🙂

2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025,

2026, 2027, 2028, 2029, 2030, 2031,

2032, 2033, 2034, 2035, 2036, 2037,

2038, 2039, 2040, 2041, 2042, 2043,

2044, 2045, 2046, 2047, 2048, 2049,

2050, 2051, 2052, 2053, 2054, 2055,

2056, 2057, 2058, 2059, 2060, 2061,

2062, 2063, 2064, 2065, 2066.

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