“I am a self-taught Contemporary, abstract, figurative artist. My art is inspired by the beauty of women and nature. Moreover, from my own personal experiences and cultural influences. I grew up in New Delhi, India, moved to Canada 5 years ago to pursue further education. I am an environmental microbiologist, I am currently finishing my Masters of Science in Biology at Laurentian University, Sudbury. My art stems from my own creative thoughts, literature, philosophy, mythology, theology. I am blessed to have experienced both Indian and western culture, my art represents different phases of my life..
My parents are from two different cultures, hence I was always taught to explore, respect, and enjoy different cultural beliefs and traditions. I am fascinated by Indian culture and neoclassical baroque Italian, Greek art. I try to capture different human emotions, experiences, nature, desires in my artwork… The purpose is to capture God’s beauty, his creation, and explore the underlying layers of human nature. Art is a part of my being, flows in my veins quite like science. I delve into different genres of art from classical to abstract.. depending on my desire to create, my mood. I also enjoy reading scriptures and then incorporating different elements of spirituality, mythology in my work. I love working with Oils.. my learning about art comes from observation of nature, different artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo Bernini, M.F Hussain, Anjali K Mennon, Picasso, Mattisse, Chagall etc. I have been painting for almost 15 years now… I started teaching art at a very young age of 13/14 years to younger children, I also explore different forms of creativity such as Poetry, cooking etc. I find there is so much beauty in this world… a lifetime isn’t enough.. “
When did you begin painting and how did you get started?
Aparna: I have been fascinated with art all my life… My father saw my potential and introduced me to Oils at a very young age of 11. My parents are a connoisseur of Arts, Music, and Literature and therefore my family laid a solid ground for me to explore my creativity and develop my own taste. I remember spending my weekends with my mother, visiting different art shows and museums. My parents had a significant role in my growth and understanding of visual arts.
Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter?
Aparna: I am a self-taught contemporary figurative abstract artist… I enjoy experimenting with different mediums like Acrylics, Water Colors but Oil paints remain my personal favorites. I love the depth, richness, beauty Oils bring to the canvas. I always think of art as poetry and every work of mine has a story to tell..My interest lies in capturing the beauty of nature in different forms.. from landscapes to human experiences, desires.
Could you walk us through your process? How much planning do you do before you jump into a painting? If you do, what are you trying to solve at each stage of it?
Aparna: I let my life experiences govern my art. I read and like to learn about poetry, mythology, philosophy, spirituality, theology. My desire to learn influences my artwork, as the more I read, the more consumed I am in the beauty of different art forms. Especially ancient Indian and Baroque Italian, Greek neoclassical artworks from the 15th and the 16th century. I usually either dream about an idea I want to capture or am influenced by literature. In either case, I allow myself to get consumed in that concept for a few days and then capture the beauty and portray the story I want to paint on my canvas.
Is there any connection between being an environmental biologist and an artist? And if yes, is there a message you are trying to give with your art?
Aparna: My aim in life is to understand and capture God’s beauty. Environmental science and art are very closely connected, as both stem from the love of nature and creativity. I make art to tell stories of different cultures, human nature and share the pristine beauty of unpolluted landscapes. It is important to spread awareness of the impacts of climate change and land degradation on healthy thriving ecosystems. Through my art, I share the beauty of nature at its best, unaltered by human interference.
What are you currently working on?
Aparna: My current focus is to explore and paint different life experiences of women with Asian heritage, their trials, tribulations and independence in this patriarchal world. In developing countries, women’s desires and freedom is still constrained to a very large extent by societal norms and increasing crime rate. My fascination lies in sharing stories of those women who are unable to speak for themselves, for those who are still oppressed and looked down upon for expressing themselves, their needs.
How has your art evolved over the years? And how much is because of the fact that you’ve experienced both Indian and western culture?
Aparna: I love to explore and believe that it is impossible to create art without having diverse experiences. I find myself being stimulated by different cultures, history. Moreover, my experiences of living within different cultures, meeting people from all walks of life have influenced my understanding of human existence beyond color, race, gender, and ignorance. My sense of art, respect for different nationalities, and the beauty of varied heritages have grown with my life experiences. East and the west are polar opposites, yet there are similarities and the beauty remains in diversity. I like to capture the transition of both cultures in the 21st century.
What artists have influenced your work the most? And how much is it influenced by literature, philosophy, mythology, theology?
Aparna: I started exploring and reading about art history, scriptures, literature in my very early teenage years. My art is a reflection of my thoughts. I am influenced by artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo Bernini, M.F Hussain, Anjali K Menon, Caravaggio, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and many more.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Aparna: My work was acknowledged at different platforms such as Sri Ram Centre for Performing Arts in Delhi, India. I have also been invited to exhibit my work in art galleries in Canada. A fond memory I have is being chosen to teach art for the summer at a tender age of 13 to teenagers older than I was. It was the beginning of my career in arts as this was also my first paid job.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Aparna: For those who are interested in my work, they contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org, My phone number is: 705 340 3537. I also display and share my work on social media.
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about (or canceled due to the Covid-19 situation)?
Aparna: I am currently working on a series on Women empowerment, expression of their individuality and beauty, I am hoping to collaborate and showcase this series on different platforms in India as well as Canada. From the research perspective, in the near future, I am going to be working on paintings with the focus on the effects of enhanced anthropogenic activities in the context of climate change on natural landscapes, oceans, and human existence, to spread awareness about the importance of environmental conservation to the masses.
You say your purpose is to capture God’s beauty, his creation. Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Aparna: Throughout history, art has been used as a medium for expression and spreading awareness about issues that are either ridiculed or condemned and that people feel uncomfortable discussing due to societal norms. I make art for my own happiness and to expose different layers of human nature, forbidden desires, and thoughts. My art is a platform where I speak my truth, capture God’s beauty and his diversity.