maya changeover

This site has had a mini changeover.   The colours and layout have changed and the focus on the main page is in on a current favourite piece with a slide show of recently finished work.  This blog which is now being updated infrequently has moved off the main page.

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The most potent muse of all is our own inner child. (Stephen Nachmanovitch) and right now it beckons me to continue my journey!

Source : Robert Genn’s Art Quotes

Listed on Gawker Artists

There has been a lull in my painting life after the excitement of the Colombo Art Biennale which took place in early September.  Most of the time has been spent moving in to our new home, settling things in and then in the midst of it all a 3 week break!    Got back earlier this month raring to go.  There’s still a bit of clearing to do before the Studio can be considered to be ready.

A while ago I had applied to Gawker Artists and was delighted to hear from them yesterday that they’d accepted my entry and listed me on their site.

Gawker Artists is a curated online art community and exhibition program promoting the works of artists of all media. Participating artists receive profile pages on Gawker Artists and are eligible to have their works published in the ad space on Gawker Media titles and included in Gawker Artist sponsored exhibitions. All participation for artists and exhibitors is free.

Currently there are 1,108 artists listed by them and there’s a form for submitting your art if you are interested.  Gawker Artists is a part of Gawker Media.  And Lifehacker and Gizmodo, both sites that I’ve been following for a while now, belong to the group.

I’m delighted to be a part of Sri Lanka’s first Art Biennale and grateful to Annoushka Hempel for giving me this opportunity.  50 artists are participating in the Colombo Art Biennale, displaying their work over 14,000 sqft of space. In addition there are 25 other locations which will act as satellites to the main event and have mini-shows. You can read more about the event on their website here.
CAB artists

The theme for this years biennale is “Imagining Peace”

Peace – to encourage peace between and within nations, communities, families and individuals.  This is not so much about showcasing Sri Lankan art; this is a project with a vision. This is to show the world that despite the fact that Sri Lanka is a seemingly politically, ethnically polarized society, artists can work together as collectives, a sign of peace in itself. “Imagining Peace”- Imagining that people can work together. Source : CAB Mission

I believe that for sustained peace we need to shake off the past and move ahead.  The lotus flower amongst other things symbolizes peace. It is a beautiful representation of the indomitable and pure human spirit that has the ability to rise above the mud and murky waters to bloom into its pristine beauty.  The prospect of peace, unknown beyond past darkness is just as thrilling.  This has been the inspiration for the piece “Rise above the Past”

Rise-above-the-Past
“Rise above the Past” 36″ X 48″ Acrylic on canvas.

Annoushka Hempel is curating the work of 3 artists including me and you can read more about it in this clipping which appeared in The Daily Mirror this morning.
Annoushka's 3

A must attend event!

CAB

CAB

E or W

Last year, I was invited by my friend and photographer,  Anil,  to be featured in a photo book,  A Month, 6 Artists and a Book that he was putting together for the Solo Photo Book Project that he’d signed up for.  I not only got to experience a photo shoot but also saw him work at making his first book and I must confess I was tempted to make one of my own.   After a year of taking photographs almost everyday,  I felt more prepared and jumped at the chance when it came around to sign up.

You can see the fruit of my labour – East or West, Bengal is the best!here.   It is based on photographs taken over a 3 week period.   A few have been taken when accompanying Anil on his photo shoots.  You can see his book, A Slice of Life, here.

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I had more or less decided to skip participating this year because of an unexpected opportunity of having solo art exhibition which kept me extremely busy.  For the four days of early morning (6am!!) shoots,  I mostly took video of the mad rush of frenetic activity in the fish market, Karwan Bazaar and the boats dredging and carrying sand on the Buri Ganga and at an abandoned stretch of railway track.  I was hoping to use still from the video as references for future work.  After the Solo finished I suddenly had a lot of time on hand and decided to give it a go.  On two of the days I ran out of tape and pulled out my still camera to take a few pics.  I’ve used some of these in the book.

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The one taken above of the sleeping vendor is one of my faves followed closely by the one of the men peering through the bars on the truck they were travelling in.  The one below is of a vegetable vendor who came up to me and demanded to be photographed and then proceeded to perform some form of martial arts.  He had everyone around him in splits.  Quite obviously a Kungfu movie buff.  He didn’t want to give up on his cigarette even for that brief performance!   Here’s the shortlist of 83 photographs from about a 1000.  The book has a smaller sub set of these.

Fu Man Choo!

In case you’re still reading and want to know more about the project, I’ve cut and pasted some info from the website.  Click on the links below to read about it in more detail and maybe join in next year?

What is SoFoBoMo

SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month – a group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish, in 31 days, at more or less the same time. It’s modeled loosely on NaNoWriMo, where participating writers all write novels in a month, and NaSoAlMo, where musicians write and record solo albums in a month.

For SoFoBoMo, the goal is to make the photos, write any needed text, layout the book, and produce a PDF image of the book, all in 31 days. Rather than confining it to a single calendar month, we use a ‘fuzzy month’, where you can pick any contiguous 31 day period inside a two month window – this makes it a bit more flexible and encourages broader participation.

My first Solo exhibition ended earlier tonight.  This whole week has been exhilirating.    The Opening on the 29th was very well received.  I was touched by the speech made by Radha Chakravarty, Shahid Kabir, Baby Maudud and my husband (on my behalf).  Each in their own way went a long way in making the event special and one that I will never forget.  Inspite of being averse to public speaking I managed to get up and string a few words together.  Gallery Chitrak handled the event extremely well.  I was touched that so many of my friends made it to the event.

solo coverage

One nice thing about having a PR company whilst at Apple was the fact that you would regularly get clippings coverage in the media especially after an event.   This list is based on feedback and some that i’ve seen so far…

May 28th-July5th – photo listing in the Daily Star Art section banner,

The News Today – small write-up

Prothom Alo – small write-up

ABC Radio Channel – regular event announcement

and a review

What the eye sees, and the heart speaks” and article by Art critic, Takir Hossain in The Daily Star

IANS (Indo-Asian New Service) – picked up the story “Indian painter exhibits work for Bangladesh connoiseurs”  picked up by Thai Indian news, The Gaea News and my blog post by JalleDa and Art Investment@demo research

Ujwala Prabhu, a fervent painter” an article by art critic, Takir Hossain, in the Dhaka Courier.

Click on pic below to see some photos from the opening.

Solo 29th May 2009

ujwala solo 29 May 09

Do stop by if you’re in town.

Drypoint - second proof (SP)

I am busy with preparations for a solo exhibition planned for the end of May and will be back to my normal posting frequency in June ’09.  I hope you will stop by again then.

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Tonight, as I sleep, Maya will cross a hundred thousand hits and I’m delighted.  Thank you!  Your visits have kept me blogging!

This blog was created on Dec 10, 2005 and the first post,  A journey begins, was back dated to about the time I made my first painting in recent years, July ’04.  It had to do with wanting a time line.  It’s taken a little over 3 years to get here.  The first year was pretty slow!

Along the way, I started taking photographs of life around me.  Mostly street life in the places I’ve lived in since.  I found that I enjoyed the experience.  I now stop and take photographs, like the one at the top of the post, which may never get used as a reference.  Something I couldn’t dream of in the beginning.  They were either personal shots or reference shots and nothing else.   And now I’m interested enough to have signed up for Sofobomo to make my own photo book for the year.

joy ride

My first love continues to be drawing and painting.  All this while, I’ve continued to work with multiple mediums with a focus on faces and figures. I think I’ve made some progress 😛   The reference used for the painting as well as the sketch is the same 😀 used two years apart – July 04 and July 06.

Amina 3 Amina

Some of you have been around supporting me from the beginning and I hope all of you ( ever the optimist!) will stick around to see where I’m headed.  Thank you once more for visiting Maya.

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