‘My work is a product of my life. Almost like diary entries. My life is my inspiration,’ and that is exactly what you see in Ayesha’s art. Each artwork is like a self-portrait layered with fragments from her world, life choices that she has made, experiences and people that have influenced her and the paths she has tread upon. After 13 years she had a solo show that echoed of the decade she has left behind.
Lets start from the very beginning, when did your romance with arts begin?
I have always been creative. From my childhood I have been a collector of all things. After school I studied law at the University of Wales, Cardiff, but it was only when I went to Parsons School of Design in New York that I truly discovered my love for the arts!
You have exhibited after 13 years and I know a lot has happened in the past decade but what triggered you to create new work?
My art practice has been evolving. There has been a lot of experimentation, playing, learning, and I felt that I finally have something to say after all this time, which led to the birth of this show.
How would you deconstruct Madness & Glory – what inspired the artworks?
I think all of us go through points in our life, some highs and some lows. What I have learnt in my life so far is that its all about balance. The middle path, but its only when you experience extremes that you can reach there. That’s what the Madness and Glory is about!
A lot of the works are somewhat self-portraits – how easy or difficult is it to put yourself, your life and your deep personal thoughts out for the world to see?
When I am creating the work its very easy and I don’t really think about the fact that the world is going to see it! But when its on display for the world, I need to take a step back from the work otherwise it seems a bit daunting that my secrets are being revealed. At the same time once a piece of work is finished, my story with it is over and it no longer belongs to me but belongs to the public at large.
You have used umpteen materials – would you know the count and what’s the process of creating a mixed media piece of art. How do you decide what goes on which artwork?
I use many materials from packaging, found graphics, pens, transparency’s, holographic paper, wine corks, beer bottle tops, Japanese paper, origami. I also use many canvases, wood, plexi glass, a pot, a scooter, fishing buoys. I have collected these things over many years and when I start a new piece, the piece really makes it self. I hunt through my stuff and what wants to go on the piece I am currently working on finds me.
You have also made sculptures, can you tell us a little about the process of combining iron, your cast and other elements.
This is the first time that I have worked on fiberglass. Living in a village in Goa I wanted to combine the resources available to me and around me. A fiberglass boat maker cast the fiberglass girls and the metal skirts they sit on are parts of iron gates that I constructed with a metal worksman who lives down the road from my studio. It was a great experience to source and work with materials and people close to me.
Lastly as an artist, what do you wish your art to communicate to the world?
My art is very different from paint on canvas. Either you love it or you hate it, but it certainly gets a reaction out of you, makes you feel something either way. The fact that my art can make you feel something means my work is done!
Text Shruti Kapur Malhotra