Artist Monika Kalra's journey through spirituality and art is a direct reflection on her creativity and self expression. Ahead of her upcoming exhibitions we discussed her background and current focus.
You studied both design and art, how do feel it influences your artwork from a composition and aesthetic perspective?
From the beginning, I tend to see an object, a scene or an assortment of things more like a collage. I studied fashion design and textiles and I am a self-taught artist. While working in the apparel industry, I got to learn about the intricacy of patterns, layouts, aesthetic in any composition. The color theory and color combination have always captured my interest and it has a definite influence each time I put brush to canvas, my vivid color pallet is evident of vibrant colors I have grown up within India, Although the tones are an adaption of western color stories. For the current collection, holistically, the core influence is visuals from spiritual practice and teachings from Brahmakumaris.
The journey of spirituality is a continuance path, can you share a few words about your latest project Eternity?
Spirituality is a lifestyle and it's eternal. I started working on this theme to express unanimity of my inner and outer world through color and canvas. I have been studying and experiencing the spiritual lifestyle for three years in a more disciplined manner. and I wanted to share what I have learned and experienced.
On the inside, I see myself composed of brightness - a shining vibrant star in a long journey through bodies. In this journey, as I experience fellow beings, cultures, countries, I reflect upon the impressions & conversations with them. I have attempted observing the state of being and his relationship with ‘The source’. The creation represents the journey towards realization inside the mind, meditating through stages and experiencing many blissful emotions along the way
Through my work, I have attempted to create vibrations of healing energy. I believe art is an impression of the artist’s state of mind which is beyond the thoughts. I have created this artwork in a blissful and meditative state. Through bold strokes, smudges and intricate color composition, melting and merging with each other radiate the free-spiritedness.
Many people associate spirituality to the culture of India, is that something you see yourself echoing through your artistic practice?
Spirituality does have its roots in India. However, it is beyond any culture or region. Spirituality stands for the reality of the spirit which is the ‘being’. We all have a guiding compass. In my case, it’s my eternity. The practice of Raja yoga, which is a connection of the bring to the source has been that anchor in my artistic practice too.
There is a lot of focus in the art world on conceptual art and new media, do you think expressive spirituality can connect with the conceptual on an artistic level?
There are no boundaries in art. Spiritual expressions will have many metaphors to play with. My idea of spiritual expression is that it must be evident, simple & should have a positive influence – both visually and with the inherent vibes.