chat British artist and educationist Angus Pryor reveals why India is an important destination for him and others to showcase their work
British artist and educationist Angus Pryor wants to develop a long term relationship with India and the upcoming art exhibition and workshop in Delhi marks just the beginning of that engagement. “I have been all over the world but the affinity that I find to people here is unique. Indians like the idea of culture,” says Angus setting up his canvas to create a brand new work in India.
“I have been coming to India for last three years and when I visited an art college in 2011, I spoke to lot of students. It made me think that we share a lot of similarity in the form of storytelling. My work also tells a story except that it is very layered,” explains Angus adding that it was this realisation that led him to research Mughal miniatures. “I want to translate the dialogue of history and place it in a contemporary context. My interest in the two weeks that I am going to spend here is politics, history and society.”
His ongoing research is impacting his vocabulary too. Of the work that he is creating here, Angus reveals it will have a central figure inspired by the traditional Mughal art traditions. “I noticed that there was an absence of female portraits so I arrived at the idea of making that as my central image and then having things around it. The images will be from my life and times in India, like my travels in the metro.”
Angus plans to reference neo-expressionism and Marcel Duchamp’s idea of ‘readymade’and use the imprint of objects such as toys, vegetables, leaves and birds.
“I use inflatables too. I blow them up and push them into the work. In fact, I am going to take the impression of the face like that too. I am not too sure but I might ask Alka Pande’s daughter to make that impression for me. But I only hope that I don’t offend any sentiments by doing that.”
The artist is also very aware of how the whole celebratory nature of Indian art is giving away to minimalism and western influences in particular.
As an educationist (he is senior lecturer/Director, School of Arts, Medway, University of Kent), he wants to take the engagement to the next level and set up annual workshops here, have Indian students over to the UK for residential Ph.Ds and conduct tutorials.