Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
A visual artist, a cultural curator, an editor and a photographer – Sayali Goyal wouldn’t trade anyone for the other. That she can indulge in and excel in these multiple disciplines is, in a huge way, thanks to her parents, who have always been supportive of all her endeavours. An abstract expressionist inspired by Nature and the cosmos, Sayali grew up in Delhi and then went to University of Arts, London to study Textile Designing. But later turned into a visual artist.
“I always knew that I wanted to be an artist, however, finding my true voice and mediums that work for me took time. I think that’s the beauty of an artistic practice, it grows as one grows and I have been lucky to have had this freedom,” she says, adding, “Painting comes to me like seasons, I have days when I have a stream of inspirations, like a high tide and I would create a lot of work in a day. But then sometimes I don’t paint for months.” But, even during the time that she doesn’t paint, she take notes for inspiration and make moodboards. “Those are part of the process. I also collect art and materials that feed as inspiration,” she says
Sayali is presently having a show of her abstract works, Intuitive Abstraction, at India International Centre, New Delhi. She took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about her show and life:
Talk to us about the ongoing show Intuitive Abstraction. How many total works it has and these were created over which period of time.
Intuitive Abstraction is a curated series of 47 large and small works on paper and textiles created between 2011-23. These are mixed media works with pigments, acrylics, natural dyes, transfer dyes, water colours, pastels, all inspired by Nature and the cosmos.
My body and mind respond most calmly when I am around Nature. I love the sound of rain, watching the night sky or a sun set, being one around water bodies, or around birds and forests. They bring me joy and hope. I then translate this feeling through my work, letting my inner feelings be expressed to the outer world. The intuitiveness of this process where I am in the pure state of heart, with no mind involved, is my most authentic self. Strokes and colors become vehicles that allow me to row.
What explains your interest in abstract art. Did you ever dabble in other art forms, or it is only abstract?
Mostly it’s only abstract. I have tried to introduce different textile techniques now and then since I studied surface textiles at the University of Arts London, however my natural expression is such.
Your works speak a lot about spiritual aspects of human life – are these conscious creations or do they just happen subconsciously?
I think the process of creating these works is about bringing subconscious emotions to the conscious. Spirituality is a fluid evolving concept for me and my understanding of Nature and the cosmos through philosophy and art is also an ongoing process. When I sit to paint, it’s very intuitive and not pre decided.
Do you plan to take this show elsewhere – within this city or outside Delhi-NCR
Yes, I would love to show these works in Mumbai hopefully towards the end of the year and other countries too.
You have held shows in India and abroad, which place, you feel, is most conducive to an artist? How do you find Delhi for the growth of an artist?
I recently showcased selected works in San Francisco and London, and both these places have evolved creative communities. I personally connected with both these sub-cultures, however Delhi too has an exciting creative landscape that has room for all kinds of artists. I think the more galleries open to diverse kinds of work, it broadens the minds of the viewers too.
What inspires you to create art?
Like I said earlier, I am a keen observer of Nature and I introspect a lot about the working of the cosmos. I think simple things like the sun, the moon, monsoon, spring, colours of trees move me deeply and feed the soul of my work.
You edit an online and print magazine, make paintings, create installations, and also hold guest lectures – which one is most dear to you?
The magazine is both online and in print and distributed worldwide. I have to say all these creations feed each other and it’s hard to choose one. They all are inter-connected too as travel for the magazine also is inspirational and part of the process for my paintings. Meeting people through programming also inspires me. I am proud of the print magazines in particular as they are longform, advert free and primary research, which is hard to find in today’s fast produced content world. My artwork hopefully will outlive my years on this planet.
Any other interests/ hobbies
I like taking photos and have my first book coming out with RoliBooks this summer that is an anthology of the last seven years of travel in India and connects every Indian aesthetics. I write prose sometimes, but I’m not ready to share it with the world yet.
The show is on till February 4, 11am to 7pm at
Kamla Devi Block Art Gallery, IIC New Delhi