#Art + Culture

Shilo Shiv Suleman: The Indian Artist Bending Convention, Breaking Stereotypes

who is Shilo Shiv Suleman
Who is Shilo Shiv Suleman: She is as much a social change advocate as she is a contemporary artist. Both those identities feed into each other for an amalgam of magical realism, the foundation of much of her work. Shilo Shiv Suleman’s interactive designs may appear surreal but are striving for real change – against gender violence, and for equality.

Boasting over 50,000 followers on Instagram, her social media feed is a burst of colours. From eco preservation to sexuality and traditional cultures, Suleman isn’t afraid to touch all in full. Her art ventures and installations are platformed online and also at exhibitions, marked by audiences for their meaningful symbolism.

Fearless Collective comes through as Suleman’s most notable project – a community effort towards art, love and peace that sees participation from approximately 400 enthusiasts. “We are a movement in the making,” the collective states.

“Every story I hear I see it play out in my mind’s eye… The source of inspiration and motivation for me is love for what I do,” she told Saffron Tree in an interview in 2010.

In 2021, Suleman has been in headlines more than once for rumours associating her romantically with Bollywood actor Abhay Deol. This past Sunday, Deol shared a set of candid clicks with Suleman on Instagram, in what fans took to be a confirmation from the actor on their relationship. Earlier this year in March, he posted snaps from Suleman’s exhibition, describing her work as “profound… transcendental… ethereal.”

Know Who Is Shilo Shiv Suleman: The Changemaking Artist

A graduate of Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology and currently based in Bengaluru, Suleman has art flowing in her veins – literally. She is the daughter of globally renowned art pundit Nilofer Suleman. Under her mother’s direct influence, the 30-something artist picked up her illustrating tools during her teens.

Her first work was published at only age 16 in a children’s book. Khoya, an illustrated storybook app, is among her most famous endeavours in this field. Suleman’s Pulse and Bloom project, an art-neuroscience outing, earned her worldwide recognition for its innovative installation with biofeedback sensors that interacted with human heartbeats.

I’ve always said it’s high time that women go out on the streets, reclaim their public space and represent their own stories, fearlessly,” Suleman said in an interview. “In general, India needs more women artists on the streets, making way for critical social justice conversations with marginalised communities and transforming corners of fear and trauma into a canvas of beautiful art.”

She has platformed certain pieces of art prints created by her for the benefit of philanthropy, with purchase earnings going towards social issues.

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