The Earth Under Our Feet

Interactive Public Performance

After thirty-five years in Southern India, transdisciplinary artist, Ashwini Bhat now lives and works in the foothills of Sonoma Mountain, California. Coming from a background in literature and training in Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance, Bhat uses sculptures, installations, video, and text, to develop a unique visual language exploring the intersections between body and nature, self and other.

In this site-specific immersive performance, Earth Under Our Feet, on the Museum’s front terrace, evolving over 3 days, incorporating clay, and inspired by the symbols of the spiral and the mandala, Bhat invites public participation in the process, using the South Asian practice of foot wedging, urging the participants to notice our entangled connection to the ground we stand on. And in this collaborative shaping of clay, we build a sense of belonging, of repair of community, self, and place. The title is borrowed from the notebooks of George Oppen, an American Objectivist poet, and a political activist, who wrote, “The earth under our feet; we are not asked to begin nowhere".

This performance has been made possible through the generosity of Starr Siegele. Additional support provided by Laguna Clay Company.

Share This
Santa Barbara Art Museum

Museum Hours

Tues - Sun 11 am - 5 pm
Thurs 11 am - 8 pm
Closed Mondays and holidays
» see complete schedule

Visit Us

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
» view map


Find SBMA on