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So much the less complete

I’m looking out for Mumbai’s Chemould Prescott Road collaboration with New York based Thomas Erben Gallery. Together they are bringing a solo exhibition of Aditi Singh –Storm Warnings’ to the upcoming India Art Fair 2019. Born 1976 in Assam, the emerging artist studied painting at the New York Studio School and subsequently earned a M.F.A. at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001.

Currently residing in Mumbai, she elucidates “In all my work, I begin with drawing a circle first, repeating it layer after layer, moving from transparency to density. It is this unending layering that catches and holds me in its grip. Often there is no inner or outer surface of the picture plane, there is simply a pulse, a vibration if you may. I think essentially what painting wants is a connection. It needs to matter to you personally, intuitively, sensually, before there is any question of meaning.”

MD: You were a Humanities student in school, what drew you to Art?

AS: What drew me to Art was how it could weave all my interests, be it in philosophy, the natural world, poetry, literature – into one. For me, making art isn’t just about constructing images, it’s a way of being, of allowing oneself to remain open to possibility.

MD: You spoke about a teacher whose method of teaching and work you fell in love with. Tell us about her.

AS: Lynette Lombard – my college professor is someone I met on the day I turned 18. An absurdly generous teacher, she taught me to fully appreciate the picture plane as a diving board into imagination. Nothing was impossible as long as one remained authentic to experience.

MD: And what drew you to Abstract? 

AS: Precision draws me to Abstract. Again something Lynettte taught me – that abstraction wasn’t some nebulous idea of thoughts hovering but an emotion that could express and expose the intimacy of seeing.

MD: Explain the interdependence of Eastern and Western influences in your work ?

AS: Having studied in the West and practiced in the East. What influenced me the most are spiritual texts, Bible and the Upanishads. I find tremendous energy and solace in such texts.

 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. [Matt 5:4]”You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny” –  Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

aditi singh graphite on parchment

Graphite on parchment paper

aditi singh wax and crayon on parchment paper

Wax and Crayon on parchment paper

aditi singh wax on paper

Wax on paper

aditi singh ink

Ink on paper

MD: Till now you have worked with ink, graphite and charcoal. What next and why?

AS: Ink on paper has been my primary medium for almost 15 years now. What changes is the paper, with every change of paper the hand works differently. Almost like it activates a different part of the brain.

MD: How have you grown as an artist – in terms of work and self?

AS: That’s a big question, there are somethings that will always remain the same- solitude being one. What shifts is consciousness and how it flows; how with every body of work one finds a resonance with the unknown.

MD: Who are/were your art icons? 

AS: Agnes Martin and Zarina Hashmi. Both artists have been unsparing in keeping their work always about fundamentals. Less is more. I can only exist now.

“My paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind.”- Agnes Martin.

It’s press release by the galleries’ reads….Minimal yet not minimalist…. her pieces are crystalline, organic forms insinuating a struggle between balance, stasis and continuity, where meaning is not a singular, fixed entity. They unearth a kaleidoscope of vulnerabilities, uncertainties and contradictions. Cumulative, methodical and patient Singh does not so much build onto paper as into it, laying down an observe domain of line, color, space and contemplation.

Do take out time to view this reflective art at the 11th edition of India Art Fair, NSIC Ground, Okhla, New Delhi between 31st January -3rd February’19.

aditisingh09@gmail.com

Romanticising maximalism of Indian design

His mentor, Tony Duqutte was an American design legend who created elegant interiors, high jewelry, costumes and sets for Hollywood and Broadway productions, European royalty and the well-heeled. Following suit, Hutton Wilkinson – the grandson of the late Bolivian president Don José Luis Tejada-Sorzano unarguably stepped into the goliath’s shoes.

As a child with a quirky sense of humour his style heroes were Tony Duquette, Cecil Beaton, Oliver Messel, The Baron de Rede, Arturo Lopez Wilshaw, Emelio Terry and Carlos de Beistegui . In 1995, when Wilkinson and his compatriot, Tony Duqutte came up with their first jewelry line for Bergdorf Goodman, Vogue wrote – “After a maximum of minimalism, all of fashion is turning towards Tony Duquette for inspiration,” (cited in Vogue Arabia)

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On reading several interviews given by Wilkinson the design enthusiast in me excitedly connected through email with the owner and creative director of Tony Duquette only to discover his “love for maximalism in Indian design”.

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Make this eco-friendly ceramic tableware your festive gift this season

The first Indian Ceramics Triennale: Breaking Ground is on at the Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur (in collaboration with the Contemporary Clay Foundation) till 18th November 2018. This and few other exhibitions in the recent past have been slowly and steadily bringing to fore ceramics in India. On the surface it seems like a sudden burst of creativity, which must have been brewing for a while.
Being an admirer of utilitarian art I connected with Sonali Sharma – the co-founder of Nugu Handmade  (based near the Nugu reservoir in the Kaveri basin).
NuguHandmade-Monsoon Collection 20

Continue reading “Make this eco-friendly ceramic tableware your festive gift this season”

The sublime P A P I E R

After a long haitus, I’m back talking about a brilliant show currently being exhibited – PAPIER at Gallery Art Positive featuring nine outstanding artists from the Indian Subcontinent. Aisha A Hussain, Chetnaa, Ganesh Selvaraj, Gopika Chowfla, Jignesh Panchal, Sachin Tekade, Sachin George Sebastian, Sudipta Das and Shormii Chowdhury magically exalt one’s mind with just paper.

Invented by the Chinese in the 4th century this became a popular medium for crafts during celebrations in different cultures e.g. papel picado banners in Mexico, kirigami in Japan, papercut silhouettes in England during the Middle Ages and how can we forget the kite or lantern flying in Asia and South America. Infact, till just a decade or two ago there were many who’d indulge in hobbies such as scrapbooking, cardmaking, paper flowers, decoupage, paper mache, quilling, paper making, bookbinding, and paper layering. So as an offset to technology (seen even in art) I decided to interact with Sachin Tekade, a Pune based paper artist who chooses only pristine white paper to depict architectural and natural forms.

1 Untitled 18x18 inches 2018

Continue reading “The sublime P A P I E R”

2 active wear brands you most certainly should check out, when in London

Like any other active wear fan I keep a look out for more advanced active or yoga wear. Today being International Yoga Day I am jotting down two noteworthy new entrants in Britain. And this post is specially for the holidayers busy doing their last minute shopping in London.

NVC Athelitica

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If you like to take yourself seriously NVC Athletica, launched this year, is it for you. Created to provide ethical, luxurious activewear for women it uses high quality fabrics which enables long-standing wear through the most challenging workouts or daily lives.

Continue reading “2 active wear brands you most certainly should check out, when in London”

To ‘serve’ with love

I recently discovered ISTLONDON, founded by  John William Micklethwaite. Its first workshop apparently started operating in 2013 but it began selling in August 2014. Actually the credit goes to my younger sister who bought its blue pastel dessert platter and serve bowls from the main shop in Alcati (a town on Turkey’s Çeşme Peninsula, on the Aegean Sea, known for its beaches, old stone houses and winemaking tradition) recently during her holiday.

So after checking with John I quickly added this too onto my shopping list for London as the porcelain is fine and available at W A Green, Closet & Botts, 181 Delecatessen & Heal’s. They claim to have used only the world’s best porcelain – Limoges (which is from Llmoges, France) and Mount Blanc; even though the latter is not easily malleable in handmade processes, but its sheen reflects the light perfectly.

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Experiments made her better…

If you are fashion forward you sure would have noticed Rimzim Dadu, a young Indian designer in her early thirties. She started off with her own label right after finishing a Fashion Design course from Pearl Academy, Delhi, in 2006. Her sparsely, brightly lit pale yellow basement studio is nestled in the bustling industrial Sector-2, few steps away from Sector 15 Metro Station in Noida.

Glad to have met her since she is celebrating a decade in fashion, this year. On viewing her crafty, experimental body of work one understands her statement of liking to deconstruct and reconstruct a material, bettter. Proclaiming to be known for her signature pieces, last season’s steel wire collection did well commercially.

This year too she has continued with it, wherein, hair-thin metallic yarns are painstakingly sewn together to form a metal wire sculpted dress possibly for Greek goddess Athena herself. It is 100% bedazzling super flexible metal couture.

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Refashioning the Pakistani Peshawari Chappal

Agender or gender fluid footwear or clothing have been a part of the Indian subcontinent’s culture since ancient days. In recent times, closer to home one notices the ubiquitous Kohlapuri slippers, Punjabi juttis/mojaris or now the Peshawari chappal – a worn especially by Pashtuns in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan; have taken over our everyday fashion choices. Eponymous to the city of Peshawar these flip-flops were originally only worn by men, paired with their traditional pathani suit.

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In March 2014, Paul Smith a brit brand staying true to its dry sense of humour came under the scanner for selling slightly quirky Peshawaris without giving due credit to its design influence. After a change.org petition was signed by several they began selling it with a tagline “Men’s high-shine black leather sandals with neon pink trims inspired by the Peshawari chappal.”

Continue reading “Refashioning the Pakistani Peshawari Chappal”

My colonial hangover

As promised, through the month I am going talk shop about niche brands that one needs to pick up during their summer travels. The caveat here is for clients who like ubiquitous high-street and global luxury brands …….less is more!

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Continue reading “My colonial hangover”

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