On the eve of an exciting new exhibition in Glynn Vivian gallery’s revamped exhibition space, Polina Zelmanova talks to Indian artist and previous Artes Mundi winner NS Harsha about his latest exhibition.
Your work draws inspiration from both Indian and Western traditions. Can you talk a little bit about one of each that you found is most valuable to your practice?
Arts from different parts of this planet have been linked long before humans began to conceive of west and east. Having said that, I have always been interested in the ‘panoramic gaze’ in eastern painting traditions in which a whole painting (canvas) is in focus. In contrast to this, ‘blurring’ the background is primarily used as a painterly device in traditional western art. So both have their merits for today’s painters.
‘Arte Povera’ [an Italian art movement in the 60s, which literally means ‘Poor Art’, that called for a return to simple objects and messages] has been one of the most interesting art movements for my personal artistic journey. Though my practice is figurative, it is fundamentally driven by abstract and conceptual spirits.