St. Pete, FL
Fairgrounds St. Pete Project
Consumed by Everglades, collage with readymade objects
In the near future, we have fallen to Mother Nature and she has taken over what always belonged to her, the Everglades. Only the remnants of us remain. Of his artwork, Consumed by Everglades, Saumitra says, “To depict a weird and unfortunate future, I wanted to emphasize the sugar industry’s outsized presence in the Everglades along with a couple of quintessential Florida motifs: the flamingo, the alligator and the palm tree.” Lake Okeechobee is seen in the center of the diorama. To consume the scene in a swampy texture, artificial grass was used and to depict the outsized presence of the sugar industry, a pattern made with sugar packets stuffed with Poly-Fil to give them some volume. The flock of miniature flamingos around the lake with beach umbrellas represent how the wildlife has taken on a human lifestyle. The miniature alligators carrying sugar packets represent the enduring effects of the sugar industry, as if alligators were used in the Everglades to transport sugar. The bottom of the scene has objects that represent NASA and Kennedy Space Center.
Saumitra Chandratreya is a fiber-installation artist who lives in St. Pete, FL and Chicago, IL. He was born in Mumbai and he considers Bangalore, India his other home. He graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017 with a Master of Design in Fashion, Body and Garment. He has a BFA in Textile Design from the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India. Saumitra was awarded an Individual Artist Grant from St. Pete Arts Alliance in 2020, Emerging Artist Grants from Creative Pinellas in 2018 and he was one of the emerging artists at the 2019 Gasparilla Festival of Arts. In addition, he was one of the selected artists for the inaugural Qinfolk Festival in Ithaca, NY and a finalist exhibited at the Union League Club of Chicago for Luminarts Cultural Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship Show. He was awarded the Shapiro Graduate research fellowship at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was nominated by his department for the James Nelson Raymond Fellowship. Saumitra’s works have been collected both nationally and internationally and his art has been written about extensively in the local media.