Life’s rich pageant is made richer through cultural exchange.
Spending a month in a foreign country drinking in the cultural differences is an experience we all cherish, if we are so fortunate, but for artists, this kind of opportunity is gold. The sights, smells, sounds, textures, and visual stimulation of another country are like no other inspiration – it is a total sensory infusion.
In 2014 Adria Arch and Anne Krinsky had just this kind of infusion when they were given the opportunity to spend a month at the Sanskriti Foundation in Delhi. “The two friends lived at the Foundation, engaged with other artists and craftspeople, experienced the visual stimuli of neighbouring cities, and learned about traditional folk arts of India. They visited markets and museums, met with artisans at paper factories and textile workshops, and sought out creative connections between their new environs and their art-making practices… but neither could imagine the unique and exciting inroads they would…make into their already insightful personal aesthetics,' wrote Dr Mary M. Tinti, curator of the Fitchburg Art Museum for the US exhibition of Vis-à-Vis at Soprafina Gallery in Boston earlier this year.
The shadow puppets she saw while in residence at Sanskriti directly inspire Adria’s poured paint compositions, with their lush colour and joyful forms capering through the visual field. This was a significant influence for the development of Adria’s practice using poured paint as the moment of activation in a canvas.
For Anne, the Phulkari embroidered textiles she saw from the Punjab inspire her vibrant red and saffron fields incised by geometric shapes. The ‘weathered’ appearance of Anne’s surfaces makes these works particularly interesting. Through a process of building up and sanding down mulitple layers, she evokes the worn surfaces of India, a result of both natural and man-made forces. Anne received an Artists International Development Fund Grant for her textile research, which included block-printing workshops in Jaipur.
Join us for Vis-à-Vis and pique your senses with inspiration from India!
Text by Jane Boyer
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