Sangeeta Sandrasegar was born in Brisbane of Malaysian and Australian parents, and spent her childhood growing up between both countries. In 1987 her family settled in Melbourne where she currently lives and works.
Sandrasegar has a research-based practice, in which narratives are built as each new work connects to previous projects. Her practice is centred round postcolonial and hybridity theories and draws strongly from her mixed heritage. Sandrasegar is interested in the many ways the structures of culture, sexuality and identity are intertwined in contemporary culture and in interpreting and representing these interconnections. These themes are explored through research and the development of a visual language concerned with shadows: through installations of paper cut-outs and soft sculptures, the constructed shadow becomes a motif for themes of self-hood, otherness and in-between spaces. Simultaneously engaged with the history of the shadow in art, in extending the scope of the art-object, the cast shadows hints towards cognitive alternatives, and sites of transformation.
In the past two years Sangeeta moved back to Melbourne after a stint working and travelling in Inda. Her exploration of India and Australia, as personal sites of both homecoming and ancestry, and as nations with related colonial histories are propelling her current projects. In hoping to explain her base for these socio-political and geographical investigations around the two countries, she refers to V.S. Naipal:
‘We all know the parents or grandparents we come from. But we go back and back, forever; we go back all of us to the very beginning; in our blood and bone and brain we carry the memories of thousands of beings’.
Sandrasegar has exhibited widely both locally and internationally, and is the recipient of several fellowships and prizes. In 2004 she completed a Doctorate of Philosophy at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne. The content of the exegesis was to formalise a visual practice centred on the creative space of shadows as a theoretical tool. She proposed that the shadow subject could be re-examined and liberated from its historical representations and employed as both a positive and salient visual device for representing the ideas currently being examined in post-colonial and hybridity studies.