Sunday, 5 June 2016

Enchanted by Anita Singh's Microorganism at the Craft Council Gallery

I have long been a fan of the varied, but always passionate, art of Anita Singh.  When I first met Anita more than a decade ago she was exploring the world of printmaking.  Even back then, she was fascinated by the cellular world and would build up elaborate patterns based on her observations of seedpods and bugs.   She was playing with repetition and variation.  High impact colours like pink, orange and vibrant greens sang in Anita's organized compositions.  (And they still do today.)  I remember being tempted to link her flair for colour to her heritage– as Anita was born in Guyana, South America with a Russian and Indian bloodline. She grew up in Montreal and Toronto, where she studied graphic design and printmaking, and lived in British Columbia for 10 years. During a cross Canada trip in 1999, she discovered and fell in love with Newfoundland. Today, she lives with her husband and son in downtown St. John’s, where she works as a printmaker, mixed media artist, and art instructor.

Over the years, Anita Singh has added to her mediums:  book arts and paper-making seemed naturally allied with her printmaking but I was surprised when she took up encaustic.  Now, the voluptuous quality of the wax gave a satisfying dimension to her characteristic palette.  Colour could be subtly suspended.  The organic aesthetic of wax seemed to fit her thematic interests effortlessly although it could not have been easy to master a new technique.  But she was hardly finished.

Anita next took to ceramics, working out of the Clay Studio at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.  First, she made vessels but they gradually gave way to more sculptural works.  They took on a new authority when mounted on the wall.

Currently, Anita Singh has a solo show in the Annex of the Craft Gallery.  It is called Microorganism and it is not to be missed.  From the Gallery website

Start Date: 2016-04-30
End Date: 2016-06-11
Anita Singh

Inspired by an obsession with patterns, textures and color found in our natural world, this solo exhibition presents and combines ceramic sculpture and encaustic paintings.

Sculptures, vessels and wall pieces explore ornate details, textures and patterns found in flowers, seeds, leaves, bugs, crustaceans, anemones; life size and microscopic cellular views; colorful, details of underwater sea life and, organic natural forms.

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