“We have wonderful new artwork in our home, by the extremely gifted artist Sheefali Asija. Jennifer and I are thrilled beyond measure at the beauty and evocativeness of this work. Once Upon a Time Over the Gravity Well and Far Away” is a diptych, an oil painting on aluminum, based on images of the Arecibo radio telescope. It’s just so beautiful and carries such depths of hope, wonder, wistfulness, cosmic awe and longing. Words fail me. Every time I walk past it I get chills down my spine. I love it, and we are so, so grateful. Please do yourself a favor and check out Sheefali’s artwork at http://sheefaliasija.com”
– David Grinspoon, American Astrobiologist and Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute on Facebook
“Sheefali Asija captures the sublimity of colossal pieces of technology—the Large Hadron Collider, Saturn V rockets, Tokamak nuclear fusion reactors—as a celebration of humanity’s collective achievements. Much like the sacred architecture of the past, these scientific feats have the power to inspire collective optimism and wonder. Sheefali draws on the aesthetics of machinery and translates their intricate designs to large-scale paintings that, upon first glance, recall the radial symmetry of Gothic rose windows or Buddhist mandalas. In the age of devastating climate change and post-truth politics, Sheefali urges us towards scientific education and global cooperation.”
– Bethany Fincher, Curator Saatchi Art
“For Sheefali Asija, art represents what science is to a scientist, a chance to make observations about the world, a new way of looking at the same thing. An aesthetic reminiscent of the manga world and bright colours create an iconography in which certain reflections and layers can be raised.”
– Art critic Laura Francesca Di Tripani in the Woman’s Essence 2022 publication
“Here it is standing: Atoms with consciousness; matter with curiosity. Stands at the sea, wonders at wondering. I, a universe of atoms, An atom in the universe." Richard Feynman
I am visual artist inspired by the world that science has revealed to us and that technology has provided for us. I believe that for humanity to have a prosperous future, it is critical to understand what we know, how we know what we know, and how we got to where we are today. It is this knowledge that will enable us to rise to the immense challenges that we are presented with as a species.
My practice has been greatly shaped by the books of Richard Feynman, a professor of theoretical physics, David Grinspoon, a planetary scientist and astrobiologist, and Carlo Rovelli, a theoretical physicist. Feynman believed the beauty of science could outweigh what any poet or painter might ever imagine about the world – the deeper our knowledge of any question, the greater our enjoyment can be. David Grinspoon makes the case for humanity to become graceful planetary engineers, conscious shapers of our environment and caretakers of Earth’s biosphere. Carlo Rovelli, described as a poet of physics, provides a moral and ethical framework for together reaching the stars.
Today humanity faces monumental challenges: how to prevent catastrophic climate change, how to avert another pandemic, how to stop the disastrous pollution of the environment, how to ensure that we continue our progress towards gender, sexual and racial equality continues. Addressing these challenges will require global collaboration, global investment in technology and global changes in our behaviour and outlook towards each other and towards the environment.
In the face of the shrill cacophony that often characterises today’s political rhetoric, where facts are misrepresented and tribal interests are prioritised over global needs, the celebration of a evidence-based world-view has never been more essential. I explore this concept of “conditional optimism” with my work in an effort to confront the dominant narratives of pessimism and fear and instead point to the astonishing human progress that can be achieved through knowledge, perseverance, cooperation and sacrifice.
"I have to understand the world, you see” - Richard P. Feynman
Selected by Saatchi Art as Rising Star - Class of 2019
Masters in Fine Arts, Chelsea College of Arts, London
Complete Atelier Program, Union Square Atelier, New York