After training in classical vocal music for several years, Smriti Dixit turned to visual arts, graduating from MS University, Vadodara in 1993. Rather than creating narrative works - a hallmark of most artists from Baroda - she embraced a material-driven abstraction.
Known for her abstract mixed media artworks, Smriti Dixit's art practice is largely driven by a familiarisation with the specific properties of the materials she employs - swaths of cloth, plastics and reams of paper in an array of textures and colours and a motley assortment of threads, sequins, safety pins and beads. Engaging with their tactility, she contrasts materials that are heavy with those that are light, the transparent and opaque, some that are stubbornly stiff and others that are frayed.
"Cloth uses me, I don't use it...", says Dixit, and so cloths, heavy and light, transparent and opaque, stubbornly stiff and pliant, coloured and plain, became bearers of meaning in her work. Referencing the traditional crafts of sewing and quilting, Dixit's work is indelibly feminine in its choice of media, process, and final form. She makes no attempt to conceal the process of experimentation and creation in the pieces she creates, allowing the weathering of her materials, tangles, loose ends, overstitched details and knots to tell their own story.
Although retaining the elaborate nature of her process as well as its tactile quality, Dixit's later works began utilizing familiar mechanically produced man-made objects of everyday and ritual use such as lamps, as well as plastics. Contrasting these materials with organic forms such as nests and spider webs, Dixit draws attention to how deeply mass-produced commodities have permeated our lives and surroundings.