My percussion teacher once reminded me that all matter vibrates and so rhythm is literally everywhere and everything. This means that the fabric of the universe, nature, and even the structure of our own cells is states is like rhythm vibrating and oscillating between at least two states.
My work is driven by the need to emulate the visual forms and structures of this rhythm as I experience it as a push-pull exchange. Delightfully, one of my sculptural mediums uses literal instruments of vibration, the drumheads of the South Asian ‘tabla’ percussion instrument I learned to play as a means of connecting to my cultural heritage. This material already resembles biological cells with a nucleus and inspires me to explore rhythm in biological forms. I’ve reclaimed hundreds of used tabla heads for my sculptures that have each been played and touched by musicians hands for a thousand hours until the leather is no longer usable. I’m drawn to this materials as I feel it is energetically endowed with rhythm and vibration. The sculptural forms are also inspired by a term in Indian music called ‘Tala’. ‘Tala’ in the Indian tradition embraces the ‘time’ dimension of music, the means by which musical rhythm and form is guided and expressed. I like to imagine the shapes of music frozen in time.
Seema Lisa Pandya’s art is informed by sustainability, biology, and her South Asian culture. Her work ranges from painting, sculpture, digital media, kinetic works, and public art and has been shown in the Museum of Contemporary Art-Long Island, Pioneer Works, Plaxall Gallery, BRIC Arts, Wagner College, FIT, Prospect Park, Governor’s Island, (NYSID) New York School of Interior Design, Leon Gallery, Greenwich Art Society, and more. Seema and her work have also been featured in Vogue India, Fine Woodworking Magazine, GB&D Magazine, Mood of Living, CodaWorx Magazine, Slow + Sustain, other publications, and in a Super Bowl commercial. She has made works for recipients such as Khizr Khan and Chelsea Clinton. Her early career curatorial gallery achievements as Co-Owner of Revoluciones Collective Art Space in Denver Colorado included featuring artists such as Shepard Fairey and was awarded Best Alternative Art Space – Top of the Rockies Colorado in 2004, and Best Gallery Award, Go-Go Magazine in 2001.
Pandya has served as a mentor for the NYFA Immigrant Artist program and advisor for Diversity, Equity and, Inclusion at NYSID, and has extensive public speaking history including being a panelist at the Asian Arts Alliance “Art, Environment, and Justice in a Changing World” in 2019. She is also on the Board of the Brooklyn Raga Massive music collective.
Pandya earned her BFA with a concentration in Sustainable Design from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in sustainable building at NYSID. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.