sabato 24 marzo 2012

Karishma D'souza

Can you describe your work?
My paintings work for me as tangible memory holders, spaces of unearthing. On a recent trip to the edge of the Sahara, the dunes were another reminder that change is constant, and that nothing can be grasped too tightly. In my work however, I attempt to document certain truths that persist through the noise and clamour one can find oneself in if one is not careful.

What are you working on?
I am working on a body of oil paintings of sizes that are intimate, of around one foot square, and smaller. The act of painting grounds me, and helps me negotiate new spaces. Through painting I attempt to work out the question of how one nurtures the intensity of communications. 

What inspires you?
The visual arts and literature – locations where one finds oneself in the inner worlds of others; The seamless shifting between the ‘real’ and the spirit world in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road, the intensity of Italo Calvino and Murakami, the author sidestepped in a translated Marathi short story. I hold close the poetry of T.S.Eliot, Maya Angelou and Kabir; and the startling, almost un-graspable humanity in the works of Vermeer, Bruegel, and Rembrandt, seen in the flesh on recent museum visits. I delight in the ethereal finesse of Persian and Mughul illuminations.

What do you hope to evoke from your viewers?
My paintings are often spaces through which I keep what is most dear to me at hand. They are for me a documentation of what has impacted me most in everyday living. They are a way to communicate and reach out to the world around me, and to hold the dialogue, in an attempt to slow down the slipping away of intangible things, or at least to hold a memory of them.

How has your work grown and changed?
For me painting is a space where I can speak about anything I wish to – and hear the echo. Life pulls along and creates references in its wake, from direct experience, and from re-lived experiences communicated by others, which get woven into or lie beneath the parallel made-up world. Painting has always been a space of reaching out. 

Do you experiment with different mediums a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I work with oil on canvas, and watercolours. I find that oil painting is always a tussle - which can be very rewarding. I can traverse an infinite range of negotiations with it – from the most immediate to the image that demands time and building up. 

Can you tell me something about your residency in Rijksakademie?
It is very important that Art is given equal respect and funding as the other fields of research. With the spending cuts the future of the academy, from where it is physically housed, to how it has been conceived, is in jeopardy. The atmosphere the Rijksakademie has built is one of inquiry. It has a wonderfully open environment with discussions and conversations that occur casually over the day in studios and over meals, with resident artists and visiting advisors, which always brings something new to deliberate over; which is enriching. The fact that the artists come from such varied backgrounds, disciplines, and experiences, makes an encounter with each person in a way a step outside my world. The connection of art is the first meeting point and it expands from there to keep being returned to at different intersections. I hope to use the duration of the residency as time dedicated to absorb the opportunities for discussions, travel and seeing art, the experience of living in the Netherlands, and negotiating all these new encounters through the work I will do during my time here. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank you for your interest in my work, and for the invitation to be interviewed for the Arte da Ardere blog.

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