Curaty's featured artist of the week is Romicon R., an artist from Bangalore, India. Check out the incredible blog she put together to showcase her story.
- What's your story.
I grew up in a family of artists so most of my childhood was filled with art-related activities. As a child, I remember being fascinated by monuments like the Egyptian pyramids, the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower…my childhood dream was to grow up and build monuments that would stand the test of time and continue to exist in the world beyond my own lifetime. So I suppose that’s when the seeds of public art were sown, although I could not articulate it at the time.
When I began my journey as an artist in Bangalore there were very limited opportunities for public art but then the city started to develop at a rapid pace to become the Silicon Valley of India and suddenly I got more opportunities to work on outdoor sculptures in large scale. In a way, my art career evolved in parallel to the city’s IT-boom.
My favourite works from that period are Infinity, installed at a tech park and Urbanscape, installed at the Hilton hotel in Bangalore. Over the years I’ve installed around 20 outdoor sculptures at various campuses and public spaces in Bangalore.
Infinity, 6 ft x 24 ft x 4 ft, Stainless Steel, Installed at Manyata Embassy Business Park, Bangalore
In the process of bringing these massive projects to life, I started to evolve both as a person and as an artist. Having to work in concert with teams of people to bring your vision to life requires a completely different set of skills and developing those skills early on in my career has been a rewarding experience.
Simultaneously, I had to develop a sustainable model of working, generating revenue and creating an eco-system that would nurture my art practice. To do that I had to acquire another set of skills so I learned to think like an entrepreneur, keep the dream alive, and find a way around each and every challenge.
After working on large scale sculptures and site-specific installations for about 7-8 years my focus shifted to other mediums and subjects. I started making work in response to what was happening around me. There were major ecological challenges caused by unplanned urbanisation in Bangalore. We had lakes catching fire, water shortage, landfill management issues and every day was a battle against various forms of pollution. Around this time I became interested in juxtaposing man-made materials, especially plastic, with fragile, natural, bio-degradable materials. The Golden Bough and other stories from the Landfill is a series of sculptures and paintings made with found objects and biodegradable materials. I enjoyed making these ephemeral objects after having worked on large scale permanent installations for so long. I worked with tree trunks, turmeric, cotton, and natural fiber.
Shortly after that, I went back to working in metal and other permanent materials. However, there was a major shift in my visual language as seen in my present series Cosmic Bloom which consists of sculptures as well as videos. The Biosphere sculptures and the Trilokini busts are my most recent works from this series. I’m constantly challenging what I know and what I say.
Some of the videos can be viewed here:
- Where have all the birds gone? - https://youtu.be/-tbCDLk2_R4
- Ocean within a drop - https://youtu.be/sa4a7Umabjk
- Persistence of Urbanity - https://youtu.be/0IYsq9yMfYg
- What motivates you, or why do you do what you do.
The pursuit of truth, which is often hidden in the subconscious layer of human minds, has been the crux of all my artistic endeavors. In my art practice, spanning roughly 12 years, I have explored a diverse range of subjects from identity to sustainability and cosmology to consumption. My visual language has evolved through continuous exploration of materials and technologies. I’m a curious person by nature and this curiosity to understand and express the gamut of human experience is what drives me to create art.
- What do you want your life to look like in 5 years, and what are you doing right now to get there?
In the future, I would definitely be showing more work internationally. Online platforms such as Curaty can erase geographical boundaries and bring my work closer to a global audience. I’ve started making digital art now and that kind of work can easily travel to various festivals and fairs around the world. Apart from that, I’m also interested in installing my large scale interactive public artworks at sculpture parks abroad.
It all starts with a vision and a plan and at the moment I’m in the process of understanding where my practice fits within the global art world and exploring how I can work in various contexts.
Here's what you missed:
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Romi has been experimenting with natural pigments at home to create work! Join her in this masterclass to create your own work of art using simple ingredients you should have readily available in your kitchen! Better yet, have children - this can be done as a social with the family. Don't forget to share images of you creations and tag @curaty_london to have it featured! #WeChampionArtists #NoNakedWalls #Curaty