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19 septembre 2007

Best of two worlds

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures" said Henry Ward Beecher.

Art resides in every human being; whether its nature or day to day happenings we all create art in our minds but it's very few who are able to paint through their mind's eye.

"I have been painting for 17 years now, what started as a hobby has become my profession," beamed Alex Stewart.

Alex Stewart, a British born artist is show casing his 7th art exhibition in our little island, while speaking to him , he shared his passion and history with us.

"My paintings are based on the spiritual aspect of what I see, like the Fool (the jester in a king's court), I see the jester as an innocent thinking figure that appears in my paintings. Like the fool there are also angels clothed in saris and flying three wheelers which have their own significance."

Speaking about the exhibition at the Barefoot Gallery, Alex added that it took him 6-9 months to prepare 31 paintings for the show. The pictures for the exhibition were painted in two basic themes; lovers and separation and used only water colours as his mode of painting for this exhibition. While some paintings explore people going through their day to day lives some pictures portray the theme and some paintings represent people's dreams.

"I staged my first exhibition in 1995 and since then have staged around 7 shows. The last exhibition I held in Sri Lanka was themed on the tsunami and I also have staged exhibitions in the United Kingdom, India and America," he added.

Speaking on how he gets his ideas on canvas ,Alex said, "Though I start off with an exact idea, something happens in between and then I end up painting something very different from what I started."

He also added that when observing his environment, he makes note of things he wants to paint in a book and then later recalls the situation which will in the end trigger a feeling which he would base his painting on.

Unlike most artists, Alex is lucky having enough to experience in the best of two worlds, "being an artist and a DJ gives me the opportunity to live and experience the world of solitude and also enjoy the world of society, so I live life in two extremes," he added smilingly.

Alex in presently DJs at popular nightclubs in the U.K once a month and was also the guest DJ when WOMAD performed in Sri Lanka.

"After I finish a painting, I spend time with it and then exhibit it. There are times where I have understood the painting only after looking at it 6 months after I finished painting it. I try not to sell any painting that I have not completed or spent time with, since each painting is very important to me," he voiced. Alex said that painting for him is like writing; a method he uses to put down his thoughts into canvas and that color is very important as it incorporates with the paintings. "I'm very happy with this exhibition because it has changed me inwardly,"

The exhibition will commence on the 14th of September and it will go on till 30th at the Barefoot Gallery.

By Sherwani Synon

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