Multidisciplinary artist and photographer Sonia Bhamra works with photography and mixed media to comment on cultural, social and environmental issues. Her work is informed by exploring different ways to look at the world and contemporary situations. She aims to intrigue the viewer to see the world from another point of view than their own. Sonia utilizes multiple creative processes in her work to evoke an emotional connection with the viewer. Her series ‘The Illusion of Separation’ explores the effect human impact has on our planet. Sonia brings ancient theology from the Sikh and Hindu religions as a lens through which to look at the way humanity lives and acts on climate issues.
"The greatest Illusion in this world is the illusion of separation and is ultimately the cause of the negative human impact we continue to have on our planet."
The Hindu Goddess Maya means illusion. She is believed to be the source of all illusions while at the same time showing truth. Humanity sees the world through several veils that distort our view and prevents seeing reality as it actually is. Sonia explores these illusions and veils of Maya through her work. One of these veils relates to climate change. Humanity often views itself as separate from the environment and the Earth’s resources as infinite. With The Illusion of Separation Sonia investigates this part of human consciousness.
Using both natural and manmade materials, Sonia creates richly toned images that pull back the veil and explore the way humanity is intertwined with the natural environment. Each photograph is a different damaging yet repeating event in humanity's destruction of our planet. The female subject represents not only the effects on our planet and its resources but also the effects of these actions directly within our own bodies, as the two are connected. The Illusion of Separation implores the viewer to open their eyes to Maya, to illusion, and to recognize that humanity needs to look at itself to correct this disconnect.
Sonia is a graduate of Birmingham City University where she received a BA in Fine Art. In 2019 she was selected as a contestant for the Sky Arts Master of Photography competition. She is based in the UK. Her work can be found on her website www.soniabhamra.com, Facebook and Instagram.