Chennai Photo Biennale

It’s hard to believe that with all of these posts, I still haven’t gotten into March!  One of the last events I attended in February was the Chennai Photo Biennale.  It was simply one of those things you actually couldn’t avoid.  BUT- Why would you want to!?! There were photo exhibitions all over the city.  Some in galleries, some in restaurants, but many that were out in public.  Many performances and happenings occurred around the city at different times and places.  It really felt electric throughout the city, because you never knew when you would happen upon an exhibit, and when you did, it was always something intriguing, thought provoking, and surreal.

A perfect example of this occurred in my neighborhood.  I lived in the oldest neighborhood in Chennai called Mylapore.  It is known for it’s temples, it’s also considered the center of the city, because everything built up around it.  It’s a very historic part of the city, and I loved being able to walk around and view all temples mixed into the contemporary apartment buildings, old shops and restaurants.  One of the best places in the entire city is actually a park.  Nageswara Rao Park is a large park where people walk, jog, play badminton, have fun on the jungle gym and swings, and of course do yoga.  It’s a lively place.  It got even more livelier when a photo exhibit was placed all around the park.  It was an amazing exhibit, with giant poster sized photos from a group of international photographers.  Their topics focused on a variety of social justice issues which included:  child marriage, race relations, poverty, homelessness, and culture.  The pictures were from around the world.  Not just focusing on India.

I walked through this park most days, but when the exhibit was there, I made sure I passed through it everyday.  One day I saw people taking down the exhibit, and soon it was gone.  The park was still great, but for a while I felt like there was something missing.  Art in public provides a profound experience for those who interact with it.  What an amazing change for this particular community to interact with the photography and also the messages it conveyed.

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New Studio Space

Just wanted to share the good news! I was juried into the Workhouse Art Center in Lorton Virginia as a studio artist and I finally got to claim my space.  Sure it still looks a little rough around the edges, but have no fear!  This week I’ll be making it my own.  Remember, this place did used to be a prison.

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Yep, still looks a little prison-y.  But not for long.

Artomatic – Interview

Being part of a big art exhibit is a great opportunity to make yourself available to those who have never seen your work.  Unfortunately, not everyone can go see my art if they’re not close enough to go the show.  However, Artomatic, has given artists a chance to share more about themselves, the art they create and a little bit about what the experience has been like.  You can view my interview here .

Curious?

Wondering where I’ve been?  Well, first of all, what an autumn it’s been.  We’ve had some amazing weather in the DC metro area, and I’ve taken a much needed break away from electronics and staying in my studio to enjoy the warm sunshine that we’ve been so lucky to have.  We’re half way through the month and we know as it gets closer to December the days get shorter and shorter (and darker).  I have to take these breaks to think about my next projects and give myself space between the work I’ve done and the next work I want to do.

Don’t worry! I’m not stopping, but sometimes I use these short breaks to recharge my batteries and get re-inspired.  One of the things that has really inspired me in the last few weeks is the Artomatic show.  It really is a fantastic event that brings people out of their respective studios and art places and puts the art into view of the public.  It’s not often that I have been able to show, due to many reasons…but I knew I could not let this go by.

Here are my pieces that are currently hanging out in Hyattsville.

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Artomatic 2015

Friday night I made it to Hyattsville, MD to the opening night of Artomatic.  It was a blast.  The venue has four floors of original art, and there is such a variety of different local artists represented here.  You can see everything from artists who draw on the subway to installations that deal with social justice issues, and everything in between.  Some things shock, some things leave you questioning what is art, and others just amaze.  I only saw about 1/2 the exhibit, but I’ll be going back again and again.

Artomatic is a great opportunity for artists to showcase a work.  I am currently showing many pieces there, and I can’t wait to see what the response is to my work.  It gives artists a chance to be exposed to a lot of different kinds of viewers.  It’s a totally free event and right next to the New Carrollton metro stop.  Here are some snap shots of what you can see.

Prepping for Artomatic

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Loved how the copper color turned out for this one. This one will probably be at the show. It’s part of triptych.

I’m in the middle of doing some last minute pieces for an art festival I’m a part of from October 20 – December 12, 2015.  It’s called Artomatic and it’s one of the biggest art festivals around the metro area.  Anyone can show and it’s on a first come first served basis.

I managed to snag a space in an old office building  near the New Carrollton Metro Station.  It’s in Hyattsville Md, and all are welcome!! It’s a free event and there are a lot of festivities happening throughout the the 6 week event.  I’m still working out on when I’ll actually be there.  Artists volunteer 15 hours to talk to on lookers about art, give tours, run the store, and pretty much do anything else a volunteer is asked to do.

I’m still trying to decide what to show because even though it’s an amazing chance to show my work, the space is limited.  I picked a good size wall, but of course I would LOVE to have more space.  It’s ok, though.  It’s my first experience with this kind of event, and I’m just glad to be a part of it.

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Clamps help the glue adhere to my cradle. I don’t like having frames around my work, so they are behind the work.
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Two little guys that will probably be at Artomatic
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A new one, almost completed.
texture
I love texture

All my pieces will be for sale!  So come on out!

Art

Tributary series
Working on some little guys for Artomatic

So, you know I teach.  You know I do yoga.  And you probably figured out by now that I do actually make some art every now and again.  In the last couple of years I’ve been able to create a collection of art that centers around maps.

I make multi-layered, mixed media paintings that use maps as a collage material in an unconventional way. I am interested in re-purposing maps to create imagined or abstracted places and bodies of water. Using a variety of media allows me to create interesting textures and layers with paper, paint, and thread. When working with my art materials I mimic water currents, and the actions of pulling and pushing. I let chance and surprise dictate how I will add each layer, but the artwork is a balance between exploration and extreme control. Two constant threads that run through my work are nature and movement.

So, I’m making a leap to create some sort of solo exhibition at Artomatic 2015! It’s a 6-week art festival, and everyone is invited! It’s a free event and you’ll see all kinds of art work, including installations and performances.  So be on the look out for more information or pictures in the next few weeks.

 

Tanjore Paintings

There is a classic style of painting that comes from Thanjavur in South India. Thanjavur, or Tanjore, was once the capital of the region and an important center in South Indian religion, art, and architecture. People from all over India (and the world) continue to make pilgrimages to visit temples and take part in traditional festivals and events throughout the year. The Government of India has preserved the temples and they are also considered a UNESCO World Heritage monuments.

Tanjore paintings are seen in these temples are became the known style in the region, as well as other places in India.  Even though the style is very particular to the city of Thanjavur, you can see local and regional differences in the subjects of the paintings. Tanjore paintings date back to 1600’s and primarily show Hindu subjects and temples. The colors are rich in color and have iconic compositions that focus around a center figure, object or temple. You can see lot of details and even inlays of glass and sometimes gems. And don’t forget about the gold foil!  You may even notice that Tanjore paintings were influenced by European styles of art that particularly were devoted to saints. Artists often painted visuals that complimented Hindu texts and familiar stories.

I’m excited to see some examples in person when I get to Chennai, there are a lot of galleries where you can view the paintings and many artists who still practice this style of Thanjavur. I like the use of color, and can see all the time and effort it takes to create the details that make the artwork stand out. I’m excited to also learn about the stories that are represented in the artwork, and understand why they are so important.

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Painting of Sri Ganesha, photo credit: http://craftziners.com/archives/tanjore-painting-sri-ganesha.html

 

The Sackler Gallery

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Not today, but a few months ago when the galleries were open at night.

Today I went on my own field trip to the Sackler Museum in Washington, DC.  I’ve been there many times but I keep going back because they always acquire new art or have amazing exhibitions.  A few months a go I was there for the Peacock Room Remix.  It was an artist’s interpretation of the original Peacock Room that was made for a wealthy family in England.  The original Peacock room is housed in the Freer Gallery, but they’re connected.  So you can see the original and then hop on over to the Sackler to see the Remix.

I went to the Sackler with no idea about what I wanted to see but I stumbled upon this lovely gallery of Buddhas.  It’s pretty interesting.  They come from all over Asia, but the ones that come from near east look rather Eurocentric.  See if you can spot them below.  It’s just a great history lesson, because you realize how much travel and trade was happening all over Asia between 8th-12th century.  Not to mention the techniques involved in the creation of these sophisticated sculptures.  Most of the ones pictured are of metal, like copper, but there are a few others made out of precious materials and stones.

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