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INSERT NAME: Introducing Swathi Srinivasan, recipient of one of the TFAC Griffin Gallery Residencies

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Written by
Jane Cuppage
Published date
05 June 2017

Through our interview blog feature INSERT NAME we are getting to know four final year BA Painting students who undertook one week residencies with The Fine Art Collective (TFAC) at Griffin Gallery throughout March and April this year.

BA Painting students at Camberwell were given the opportunity to apply for one week residencies at Griffin Gallery in West London. Six students were chosen to partake, all in their 3rd Year of BA Painting and graduating in June. Each student had a week working in a spacious and professional environment. The students embarked on a short and intensive period of experimentation with materials of choice from Liquitex, Windsor and Newton, with the intention of informing and enriching their painting practice. The six students chosen were Esra Vazirally, Alice Mears, Swathi Srinivasan, Christopher Simpson, Victor Leleca and Florence Main.

Swathi Srinivasan, from Bangalore, India, was third to complete her residency 27 – 31 March. She told us about her residency and what she is preparing for the upcoming Summer Show. Swathi wanted to experiment with the different materials and mediums on offer, having never taken part in a residency before. She decided to try both Windsor and Newton materials and Liquitex inks and spray paint.

Tell us about your residency:

I learnt a lot about myself from the Fine Art Collective Residency week. I very much enjoyed myself, especially having the space to myself for one week. The residency had so many materials, most of which I had never heard of or seen before. I tried to experiment with almost everything.

I was able and excited to visit the Innovation and Development Laboratory which is part of the residency. Here, they research and experiment with colours, pigments and materials, and I was able to chat with them and found them really friendly. I would love to go there again to talk more about materials and the creation of oil and other paints.

What research did you undertake during your week?

I am interested in how I view human beings and how they feel about their surroundings. During the residency I looked at other artists who I admire and tried to incorporate their style into mine, but while finding my own language to convey this to the viewer and audience.

During the week I explored and experimented with various new mediums, using spray paint, acrylics, ink and oil, using them all in one painting. I find out more about myself when I am experimenting or when attempting a new style. I feel like I perfected the human figure with oil, then I blurred the portrait with a huge brush.

Did you learn anything new or interesting regarding technique or with materials?

I usually use oil paints with linseed oil as a medium. When I was doing the residency I learned about liquin-fast drying medium, Oleopasto, which adds layers of colour. I made some mixed media paintings with fast drying alkyd oil paints, safflower oil, poppy oil, Liquitex ink combined with spray paint and acrylics too. I scraped at the layers for affect and found something interesting in my work and a new depth to it.

Did you take away anything from the residency that will further your practice or your final project at Camberwell?

This residency gave me the opportunity to experiment with and to learn how to use new materials. I tried out new styles which I had never done before, it pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I was able to create paintings very quickly, enabling me to learn more about myself, and the colours and materials I want to use to create future paintings, especially for my final summer show. During the residency I was excited, nervous, learning so much, happy but also sad. I would like an opportunity like this again so that I can continue on with my research and further expand my practice.

What are you working on for your Summer Show?

Right now I am working on a larger scale painting. I’m planning to exhibit my paintings in a series. My series is about passion and pathos and how that leads me to show what I want to express on my canvas. Inspired by Baroque and Renaissance movements, and also Impressionists, I  have created my own translation of how I view the human being and how they feel about their surroundings. I question: do they interlink or connect with their surroundings or are they isolated in the world? It is about the interplay between the figure, the human being and the space they are in.

Swathi and the 3rd Year Painting students will be exhibiting at 45-65 Peckham Road during the Summer Shows 17, 19-24 June.

 Related links:

BA Painting

Undergraduate Summer Shows

Griffin Gallery, The Fine Art Collective Residency

Apply now: Griffin Art Prize 2017