Hail multiculturalism!

Started working on this painting at the beginning of this week and finally finished it today… I had a basic idea in my head but the painting evolved with each brushstroke, each wash, each thought in the head… it’s difficult to explain it, more of a feeling but will try… the multiculturalism amongst us (take cities like London/Bombay for example) in terms of people- race, language, culture and yet sometimes we tend to ignore the beauty of it and stick to our fixed judgements and opinions. We all do it sometimes, let’s just admit it… people love to ‘stereotype’ no matter how culturally aware… and so sometimes I think- why, is it really necessary? When will this all end? Acrylics on canvas, 40″x30″.

Talking about multiculturalism… I met some very interesting people yesterday at the INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts) in Shoreditch. The institute had organized a one day event on contemporary art where a group (people like me and others) toured around the arty places in east London, visiting various galleries from Seventeen to ‘upmarket’ Whitechapel gallery & White Cube to a gallery specializing in street art, Pure Evil.

Yasmina Reggad (Algerian origins, brought up in France), an independent photography curator (www.photo-festivals.com) took us all around… we chatted about different kinds of fine art, photography and curating practices… was lovely interacting and learning about her field and she was very encouraging about my work, what I was doing! 🙂 Her two Brazilian friends settled here in London who were in the field of theatre were so vibrant and at times they would talk in portuguese with each other! I remember telling Yasmina that I loved listening to European languages even though I didn’t understand apart for a few elementary words! YR could speak french, spanish and portuguese and mentioned how she adapts herself travelling to various places and sometimes all the languages get muddled up in her head!! 🙂 There were a couple of 16-17 yrs olds (again with multicultural roots!), future artists who wanted to know more about local contemporary art, wanting to join art schools. It was good listening to such a focused lot… sitting for lunch in the middle of Hoxton Square, talking to like minded people about things we were all passionate about… can’t think a better way of  spending the day! Strangers when we met, friends when we parted!

Highlights yesterday: Brian Duffy’s photographs exhibited at the Idea Generation gallery… Hassan Hajjaj’s shop (a photographer of Moroccan origins- www.hassan-hajjaj.com), loved his work and his quirky little shop, will visit it again soon, with Junaid.

No colour, no fun without multiculturalism!


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