“What is your ‘elephant in the room’?” with Bhavisha Patel

Self-taught artist and InLiquid artist member Bhavisha Patel carries with her a remarkable set of identities and life experiences that informs her art and her philosophical approach. Ethnically Indian, born and raised in Kenya, educated in England, and now living in Philadelphia, Bhavisha’s work is markedly multicultural. As a former personal injury lawyer for 20 years prior to a train-track accident and five year recovery period that precipitated her career change, Bhavisha speaks from personal insight when she says, “I am at my happiest when I’m creating [art].” As a self-taught artist, Bhavisha is curious, imaginative, and always exploring new concepts and mediums.

Bhavisha first heard about InLiquid from a member of her Naudain Street Art Collaborative who recommended that she join. “InLiquid has been an amazing space to have a voice as an artist.” “[They] do an amazing job of marketing your artists. I love InLiquid’s opportunities page – that’s how I found out about the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Competition.”

“When I first started, I didn’t know how to use any of the mediums or any elementary rules of art. I just started painting. Then, I gradually started to learn how to become a better drawer,” aided by books, observation, experimentation, and practice. While Bhavisha’s work spans Buddhism, animal rights, and traditional landscapes, currently Bhavisha is exploring tree bark art, oil paintings of pandemic-inspired empty cityscapes, and watercolor illustration for her upcoming children’s book.

One of Bhavisha’s more recent projects has been her work with tree bark. “I collect tree bark, I treat it, press it to make it flat, then mount it, and paint on it with oils. August is bark harvest time for me and my basement is full of bark.” She has also done work directly relating to the pandemic in the form of empty cityscapes that she painted as a representation of the isolation felt by artists during the COVID-19 pandemic. “When I finally had courage to go out into the city [after the pandemic began] [Philadelphia] was so empty that you could see designs and patterns that you could never see before when there were people and cars around. It was a new kind of experience.”

Bhavisha has also been working on a series called Elephant in the Room in which she paints elephants in unusual settings like in Times Square or in front of the London Bridge. Most of her elephant paintings depict an old bull elephant with a broken tusk that she encountered roaming alone in her childhood backyard, Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Her goal is to challenge city residents to think about climate change, the preservation of animals and all life on Earth, and specifically the harms of elephant poaching. More broadly, she asks her audience:

“What is your elephant in the room? What do you want to be an activist about?”

Bhavisha is also passionate about teaching young artists: “What is important as a self-taught artist is that you are always learning yourself, [so] when you start explaining things and breaking them down, especially for children, you have to understand them, ingest them, and be able to demonstrate them.” For young artists, Bhavisha shares the following message: “Dare to be boldly creative. Understand that there are no mistakes in art. You just have to put your heart into it and tell your story.”

When you support InLiquid, you connect local artists with audiences throughout the greater Philadelphia area, and around the world.

I aim to give voice, recognition and respect to nature's genuine creatures living among us.
Cassandra Petruchyk
Cassandra Petruchyk

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I aim to give voice, recognition and respect to nature's genuine creatures living among us.…

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Melanie Serkes is a multidisciplinary sculptor. Inspired by the human form her rhythmic geometric creations abstract the precarious moments that occur between fragility and stability.
Melanie Serkes
Melanie Serkes

Melanie Serkes is a multidisciplinary sculptor. Inspired by the human form her rhythmic geometric creations abstract the…

Melanie Serkes is a multidisciplinary sculptor. Inspired by the human form her rhythmic geometric creations abstract the precarious moments that occur between fragility and stability.…

Melanie Serkes is a multidisciplinary sculptor. Inspired by the human form her rhythmic geometric creations abstract the precarious moments that occur between fragility and stability.…

Liz Goldberg is trained in painting and graphics with an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA with honors from York University. She is currently on the art faculty of Pratt in New York City and Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Liz Goldberg
Liz Goldberg

Liz Goldberg is trained in painting and graphics with an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA with honors from York University.…

Liz Goldberg is trained in painting and graphics with an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA with honors from York University. She is currently on the art faculty of Pratt in New York City and Drexel University…

Liz Goldberg is trained in painting and graphics with an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA with honors from York University. She is currently on the art faculty of Pratt in New York City and Drexel University in Philadelphia.…

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography.  Her work is included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's permanent collection.  Having grown-up in Juarez, Mexico, she is deeply troubled by the social problems affecting women of the border towns. An example of Trillo’s work is a photo documentary exposé of low-cost sex workers in Mexico. The series includes a collection of photos taken in the brothels there, deglamorizing prostitution and showing the dehumanizing conditions of their work. Trillo’s photographs have been featured in several major press outlets -  and was recently selected Best Series in the Black and White International Awards.  She studied in Italy and Philadelphia, and her work has been shown in solo, and group exhibitions. Trillo lectures at conferences and universities, regarding women’s issues and human trafficking.  She is currently working on a series that tackles the issues surrounding immigration and the Honduran Caravan.
Ada Trillo
Ada Trillo

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography. Her work is included in the…

Ada Trillo is an interdisciplinary artist who primarily focuses on documentary photography. Her work is included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's permanent collection. Having grown-up in Juarez, Mexico,…

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Susan Benarcik
Susan Benarcik

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I spend a lot of time in nature observing plants, the environment, and natures cycles. While in or out of the studio, I'm creating both complex and compact environments that enliven personal residences,…

I spend a lot of time in nature observing plants, the environment, and natures cycles. While in or out of the studio, I'm creating both complex and compact environments that enliven personal residences, gallery walls, and…

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