Redbridge exhibition

An exhibition of my recent works starts today at the Redbridge Museum Complex, Ilford.

I went to the venue yesterday and set it all up, happy with the result! 🙂 While I was arranging, re-arranging canvases I happened to meet some lovely people- a couple of artists (one of them showed me his works on his phone, even gave me advice on which camera I should invest in- lovely!)… a poet… few art lovers… children who happened to just pass by on the way to the library and observed every work with minute detail… a little girl with her grandmother, reading aloud my artist statement and each title of the work! It’s nice to see how these works “talk” to people and how people respond to them.

I met this interesting old lady who just started talking to me (according to her “I had an approachable face!”) not knowing I was the artist. She started reminiscing about her pottery days and how she wanted to get back to it now but doesn’t have the will anymore (she stopped after her daughter died)… her days spent studying literature… her stint with cancer… she had family around in the country but lived by herself in her home… and while we were talking she commented on my paintings and how she really liked the colours and then I told her I was the one who painted them! While parting ways, I told her to get back to pottery and drawing and remarked she was one of the prettiest ladies I had seen in my life… a lady with so many stories to tell, a hint of sadness in her eyes… she felt happy she had someone to talk to for a little while before she went home on a bus to have a dinner of cheese on toast.

I am so glad to have my works displayed here, in the heart of the community for people from different walks of life!

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Ode to the tree

Extremely sad to see you being chopped off… no more will you be a resting place for weary little birds who twittered  in our lovely garden and no more will you give joy to my little niece who liked lying on the grass under the cool shade of your leaves in the summer.

I owe you a lot dear tree- looking at your greens with hope on a melancholy day, feeling the wind passing by through your leaves and lifting up my spirits.

Thank you for letting me share my joys and sorrows with you for all these years.

Good luck to the neighbour who shall build a “pretty little shed” in your place.

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In search of…

30″ x 20″, acrylics on board.

Try, try, re-try, fail, try again or won’t even bother? Abort it mid-way? (There could be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, who knows?) Not giving up- to continue the search…

To “enjoy” the journey, its highs and lows- in search of your treasure, sometimes a never ending search… not chasing empty pavements or are you?

ING Discerning Eye, 2011- to hell with it! More opportunities, more work to be done… eye on the goal.

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The road not taken…

The Journey, acrylics on canvas, 16″ x 16″.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(Robert Frost, 1915)

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The speaking box

Who are you? Where are you headed to? And what will you be today? Is it all farce or is there a glimmer of a tiny speck of substance and truth?

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Sarah Pearl : Same Difference

Some say Sarah, some say Pearl- one person, two names.

Two different names yet rooted together in harmony- incomplete without each other- no Sarah without Pearl- no Pearl without Sarah. Life truly is beautiful, makes things perfect for you without you even realizing it.

My art was incomplete without Sarah, Pearl existed but with a void. Along came Sarah like a breath of fresh air and Pearl found the missing piece of the puzzle.

Today Sarah Pearl sit back together and observe… S & P- like the day & night, the sun & moon; as if they were always meant to be ever since life evolved… they both found their true calling, have you?

Acrylics on hardboard, 11″ x 11″ each.

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Few years on…

Year 2007, wedding day- 4 years on… the red shoe laces being symbolic- tying us together; up and down, sideways, holding it tight.  The colours dripping over, taking their own individual course yet moving together in harmony. Acrylics on canvas, 36″ x 24″

My art has taken a different course too after 2007 especially when I look at my current works- I see more self reflection, a certain boldness in work and thinking, more experimenting in terms of techniques and concepts and feel its okay to paint what I feel and think regardless of whether it appeals to everyone or not… as long I’m happy with the result and it appeals to my sensibility only then I have been true to my art… nothing pseudo about it, art without pretentions.

The preview at Brick Lane gallery went off well. Happy with the whole set up and the number of people who had all turned up, spoke to some, good feedback on my paintings. 🙂 I wish to have more and more shows like this…

PS: Went for the 243rd Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts 3 days back and it was a different experience all together… around 1200 works on display from Royal Academicians to other practising artists and architects- the works were curated well, a sort of a theme in every room- interesting to see so many visual thoughts on display- well worth the trip on a typical London pouring day!

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Brick Lane Gallery exhibition

Big day. Group exhibition starting at the Brick Lane Gallery today. 🙂 The preview is in the evening and I’m excited about meeting fellow artists, art lovers, buyers (hopefully)… fingers crossed!

On the work front, have an idea for a new painting and will start working on it… need to clear it in my head and will put it on canvas soon… would have been more active these past few days but this ‘Indian summer’ in London is killing me!!

Oh yes, going to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition tomorrow, have booked the ticket already… looking forward to it. Next year, my work will be there.

 

 

 

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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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Story behind ‘The Bohemian’.

A little bit of Bohemian in me… wanting  a little bit more! 🙂 Acrylics on canvas, 18″x14″, inspired by my visit to the National Gallery… the works of Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, Renoir, Degas… seeing the masterpieces in real, the colours, the brushstrokes… the sunflowers, still life, ballet dancers, bathers… a print or an image does no justice to a painting, you have to see it in real to get the sense of magic, the aura!

There was a purpose behind my visit to the gallery yesterday, had gone to attend a ‘storytelling’ event, by storyteller Sally Pomme Clayton, to hear her tales inspired by the mysterious atmosphere of Degas’s painting, Helene Rouart in her Father’s Study.

A beautiful performance in front of the painting, lasting an hour, combining vibrant spoken words, music, myths of longing and travel… taking me to another world of art and creativity! (just saw, the event is mentioned on her blog, http://sallypommeclayton.com/blog/)

With an open mind my conscious and sub conscious is more receptive to things around me and so when I came back home in the evening, my gaze fell upon this beautiful wall hanging (my parents had gifted it, from India) and I thought of painting it as a background for a new piece of work. I took a canvas from the arty corner of the house (!) and did a simple wash of blue and green and let it dry overnight with an idea bubbling in the head… a canvas with some colour is more inspiring than a blank one, when you get up the next morning! 🙂 And today, without pencil or charcoal, I drew the face with a coloured brush and then came the tones, the hair, the shadows, the background… it all just flowed easily. Initially I had thought of using another angle of the face but then this just seemed perfect for this painting… very happy with the result! A part of my personality in my current works… the bohemian, the wanderer in me!

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