Weaving ideas together
The Oman-based artist is all about experimentation.
For Elizabeth Davis, a Kochi- based artist, colours and woven fabric have always been elements of passion. They find a place in her four-day solo art exhibition titled ‘Interwoven’, started on April 23.
Elizabeth has nearly 20 years of experience as an artist — art school to multiple collaborations with international artists.
The Oman-based artist is all about experimentation. For Interwoven, she has featured deconstructed versions of her own paintings, like The Bullock Cart, Kasavu kali, The Banyan Tree, The Blessing, and Ammachi’s. Through these, she has managed to equate artworks with the art of weaving, which intertwines multiple concepts between its folds.
“When I was a kid, I used to watch my parents weaving coconut leaves. That came back to me when I was looking for new ways to portray my concepts.” she says. Elizabeth got her flair for paintings from her grandma. Over time, she adopted realism as her method. Eventually, she touched upon impressionism and deconstruction, pushing her art towards semi-abstractionism. For her, this was a challenging phase.
“I don’t believe in sticking to a single genre of painting. I am always searching for new styles. An artist has to constantly evolve,” she says. To keep up with her experiments, Elizabeth had to adjust her personal likes and dislikes — like a shift from her preferred dim, pastel palette.
“But you need to know where to stop — even if it is a single piece of art in your long journey as an artist. I am happy that I could get out of my comfort zones at the right time,” she added. Her modern works show the drastic changes she has been through — like the mystery in ‘Monsoon’ and ‘Cave’, the helplessness in ‘African Women’ and ‘Sufis’, the vibrancy in ‘Girl’. “Anyone can duplicate an image on canvas. But a more creative way is to create multiple impressions and leave it for viewers to consume,” she said.
‘Kasavu Kali’ has woven pieces of her original painting of a Kathakali figure together. They have been cut into narrow vertical kasavu strips. The golden glaze of kasavu along with striking green and red colours bring out the vibrance of Kerala’s culture.
“I love painting nature. I think I have done many pictures of the sea and it has a different face in each one,” she said. While one features vibrant waves with striking colours, another shows calm waves falling on vast murky weeds near the shored. The sea under a silver sky is the subject of another painting.