VAM’s new exhibition Now Streaming will be on exhibition February 4-17. VAM will host artists working in experimental processes using a combination of traditional and new media. This year’s exhibition will be co-curated and exhibited by VAM’s Creative Residents (VCR). Join us for music and art at the Reception on Friday February 8 from 7-9 pm.
In this profile, we feature Visual Arts Mississauga Creative Resident Amrita Virdi.
1. How long have you been creating for?
I have been creating for as long as I can remember. Since I was a child, I have always been interested in expressing myself through art. I still carry crayons with me, because you never know when inspiration will hit you.
In high school I started creating abstract paintings that were unplanned, process pieces. I was using colour and motion to create gestures of lines that told a story. I started using painting as a meditation that released all my thought and feelings onto canvas.
2. What inspired you to create?
I am interested in how our world is saturated by colour; I obsess over every soft hue of yellow and each shade of potent deep blue. Each colour evokes a sense of feeling and this fascination, encourages me to mix colours with the awareness that certain colour combinations can stimulate a range of responses from an inner sense of peace through to distress. I create works in the excitement of knowing that each person can look at the same picture and see something completely different, but also question the truth of its significance. I am always adding my own struggles, pain, love, and laughter, which through your eyes will change to become something different. My paintings are a process of trying to find my own answers to the mysteries of life
3. What goals do you have for 2019?
My goal for this year is to have a strong intention in everything I do. I am focusing on slowing down and becoming more mindful and aware about the people and things around me. I think art is an amazing way of connecting with people so I am working on creating more interactive work that allows the public to participate in the process. My intention is to bring people together in a collective community so that we all feel that our true colours can be accepted and embraced.
4. Where would you like to be creatively in the next three years?
In three years I would like to be sustaining myself solely through my art. I would like to have my own studio space where I can make and sell art. I want to create a space where artists can come together and collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other. I think it is important that we work together, because together we are stronger.
5. What's your preferred creative medium and why?
My experiments in artmaking have led me to explore different ways of combining paint and collage to create images that tell a story. I enjoy attentively watching each colour react to the next in a continuum of layers of tactile and often thick paint. After I paint the background I often use different methods to place images onto the canvas. Each image is collected from sources that I come across in my daily life, that make me stop what I am doing to envision them existing inside of my painted vignettes. Each image is stripped of its original content and painted over to complicate our ideas and perceptions of our work-a-day realities. I disrupt everyday images that stimulate our attention, with strange new colours and forms that make you question and wonder what you are looking it.
6. What attracted you to the Now Streaming exhibition?
I have been teaching children and teen courses at Visual Arts Mississauga for about 6 years now. I was interested in VAM’s Creative Residency because it offered an opportunity for me to learn and grow as an artist in a place that feels like home. I am interested in gaining networks and working with other artists in the community to create an experience for everyone. I think the youth show Now Streaming has a lot of potential to change the way we think about art.
The VAM Creative Residency is generously funded by the Community Foundation of Mississauga