“I’m a Glassblower”: How a hitchhiker and a fib paved the way to a life in the arts

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26 years ago, while living in British Columbia, Seema Goel hitchhiked. He asked Goel what she had done.

Without thinking, she said, “I’m a glass blower.”

It wasn’t her.

But Goel continued the charade, answering his questions about glassblowing and deposing him.

Then she drove home, immediately called a glass studio and got hold of the last place in a workshop for the coming weekend.

It was kismet, she says.

“I went and became a glassblower because of this lie. Someone got in my car and I said this thing out of nowhere and I went and did it,” said Goel, who now lives in Winnipeg.

Since that day, Goel has been an artist, working in ceramics, sculpture and drawing. She went to art school, learned to paint and has been passionate about circuits and technology as an expression of art ever since.

A still from a film by Mandeep Sodhi shows the work of interdisciplinary artist Seema Goel. (Sodhi Creative Films)

Now, Goel’s tortuous journey in art is the subject of a new short film by Winnipeg filmmaker Mandeep Sodhi.

The film about Goel is part of Our Culture, Our Art – a four-part video series by Sodhi portraying South Asian artists in Manitoba and created for CBC Manitoba’s Creator Network. The four-part series was produced in late 2021 in collaboration with CBC Manitoba’s pop-up remote newsroom office and community space at Garden City Center.

You can watch the first film about artist Azka Ahmed and her journey from spoken word poet to visual artist. here.

Two more video profiles will be released in the coming days:

  • Thursday February 3rd: Gurpreet Sehra on how the outdated caste system affects her work.
  • Sunday February 6: Sisters Saira and Nilufer Rahman explain how they honor their late father’s storytelling traditions.
Our Culture, Our Art is a four-part video series by Mandeep Sodhi portraying South Asian artists in Manitoba and created for CBC Manitoba’s Creator Network. (CBC)


About the filmmaker

Mandeep Sodhi is a screenwriter, cinematographer and director and has lived in Winnipeg since 2011. He has over 13 years of experience in the film industry in India, the United States and Canada.

Mandeep Sodhi is a screenwriter, cinematographer and director based in Winnipeg since 2011. (Submitted by Mandeep Sodhi)

He has won two national awards in India for his docudramas and his music videos have been nominated for national and international music awards in India, Asia and Sierra Leone.

In 2015 Mandeep won the ACTRA Manitoba Golden Boy Award for the most outstanding member-initiated project for his short film The perfect little plan.

He has written and directed for television and his work has been broadcast on Bell MTS, Super Channel and various on-demand platforms. His film company is Sodhi Creative Films.

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