Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to East Indian parents, I grew up oceans away from my family and immigrant roots. From Africa to England to the United States, I moved often and lived in countries and places not my own. I made  friends, worked, studied and eventually graduated from law school. But after moving to a new city, making a home and practicing law for six years, I left
it all behind— to explore the India from where I came and live with the family I had never known. While there, I learned
how to apply henna, the art of my ancestors. What began as an innocent exploration into an art form I have loved since
I was a little girl became a new beginning of art making and storytelling. 

Committed to the ritual of making— I draw and write, revise and erase, cover over and under, add, reclaim and layer. I mix and
match graphite, ink, charcoal, paint, collage and print making. I make art, write stories and curate experiences that explore
identity, dance with memory and tradition and tell of the times we live in. My art and storytelling honors those who came
before us, our shared experiences and our differences. I believe strongly in the power of human connection and
am guided by my conviction that it is only in each others’ stories that we find the beauty of the human spirit. 

~ Bela

“from the studio”

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