After a wonderful & intense eight weeks on this arts residency at Artcore my work is finally complete & exhibited at Deda Derby with Nicki’ s wonderful prints. Here’s some images of the last few days & nights refining the paintings & getting the work completed.
I came to this residency having very little knowledge or understanding about the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence. My initial proposal was to paint the beautiful textiles of India, this I did visiting the fabric shops in Normanton & purchasing a bag full of lace trimmings. However this led me on an unexpected journey discovering the flowers of India, the plant hunters & the shaping of British gardens. I then became fascinated by the importance of India’s native flowers, their symbolism, medicinal purposes and use during ceremonies & celebrations within different religions in India.
I read about Partition and watched the recent TV coverage. Totally unaware of the suffering which occured during that period I was horrified & saddened by the stories and images. I met with Donna a friend & past colleague who spoke of the experience her family faced during and after partition and the effects on the Anglo Indian community.
Saddened by the suffering on all sides it highlights to me the importance of having compassion & empathy for each other, working towards peace in whatever small or big way we can.
I am grateful the residency has opened my eyes & heart to India, although it is only an 8 week period I am surprised how much I have learnt and created without even leaving Derby, just 15 minutes from my home. Although I have only experienced a tiny portion of what there is to learn I feel I have a greater awareness & understanding. It has been wonderful to work in a place where people come from a variety of backgrounds and to make new friends. Staff, visitors and volunteers have been popping into our studio seeing our progress. These conversations and stories from India, Pakistan & Bangladesh have been most memorable and have influenced my work too.
The residency has given the freedom for my creativity to flow, explore new materials & ways of working. I have enjoyed the challenge of working on a new surface & hope people enjoy my yoga mat triptych ‘India, Roots & Layers. ‘ I have painted the state flowers of India within the body of work on exhibition as a celebration & recognition of the beauty of the natural world and our connection to it. The Lotus flower is central to this as it is the national flower of India which symbolizes; spirituality, fruitfulness, wealth, knowledge & illumination.
The paintings are now exhibited at Deda Derby, I hope you enjoy them.
Big thanks to Artcore & all the team I hope we will work together again in the future.