An encounter with art maverick A.V. Ilango encouraged Remya Kumar to do art full time.
Remya Kumar, a Bengaluru-based artist, did not enter the field of art because she was a prodigy. For her, painting was the only effortless means of truly being in the present moment. Remya let the passion grow and got a timely helping hand from the illustrious artist A.V. Ilango. As her ongoing solo painting (till May 2) exhibition titled, Reflections of Nature, garners good response at the 2nd floor Bridge, UB City, the artist tells us about her journey, and wanting to help youngsters discover the therapeutic benefits of art.
“I thrive on the challenges of a blank canvas, the promise that it holds, and the thrill of experiencing a work of art blossom from that emptiness. Painting for me is most joyous, when it is spontaneous and intuitive. I don’t let my prejudices get in the way of my intuition. Nature as a subject has lent itself beautifully to my style of painting,” shares the architectural graduate, who also holds a masters in urban design from the Ohio State University.
Her tryst with the canvas goes to an instance where she was offered paints to thwart boredom as a child. “Even though I never envisioned becoming a full time artist, art has always been a part of my life. I was eight when art was introduced to me under strange circumstances. We had to fly to Chennai for my dad’s bypass surgery. While everyone was in a panic-stricken mode, I was given paints to keep myself occupied. Much to everyone’s surprise, I replicated the exact logo of the hospital my dad was admitted at. That’s when people around me realised I had an arty thumb,” adds Remya.
As fate would have it, an encounter with art maverick A.V. Ilango motivated her to shift gears — and give art a chance. “When I was in Thiruvananthapuram, taking a sabbatical from work and studying, I was painting constantly and knew that I needed some direction. Coincidentally, Ilango sir and seven other artists were at an art camp, which I visited. Sir saw that I had the potential and offered to take me as a student in creative painting in Chennai.
I stayed in Chennai at his art space for seven months. Being at the art space gave me a strong sense of what it would take to be a successful artist, and what I should strive towards — personal excellence, a strong faith in one’s own abilities and a dedication to one’s own vision. That’s when the decision to pursue art as a full time vocation was taken,” says Remya. Ten exhibitions later, the Bengaluru lass wishes to offer insightful sessions to art aspirants. “Teaching comes naturally to me. I believe art therapy is the best therapy in terms of channelling your thoughts, emotions and understanding yourself and the world around you,” she says.