Hello I’m Riddhi Patel from Gujarat, India and a new member of St. Petersburg Virtual Art Residency. I am very much grateful to SPB for this opportunity. This is my first hand experience with Virtual Residency. Here on this splendid platform, I’ll be sharing about my art practice, method, research and inspiration spring channels.
To begin with, as an artist, I am highly influenced by the Canadian-born American painter- Agnes Martin and Indian artist- Nasreen Mohammedi. I am a big follower of their works and they have always been imaginary mentors in my art practice. Much of my work ideas also spring from Zen, Tao and Eastern philosophy readings.
Stating about my practice, I bring in textures and patterns inspired from textiles, warp-and-weft and natural elements into a solitude space and confront it with intentions of serenity. I believe that there is a certain meditative energy involved in the process of making. The repetition of lines, continuous involvement, thin brushstrokes and subtle colours are therapeutic healing to me. Painting those lines in a continuous manner with similar intensity is what acts as a therapy of healing and conditioning for me . I look into close details and keep doing it. This kind of brings in focus and intensity within me which allows me to go with the flow.
The mediums I incorporate into my practice are acrylic, graphite, charcoal, ink and Indian dyes. While working, I always tune to folk and classical music. The rhythms, vocal chord and the Tabla sounds provide me a visual experience rather than an auditory sensation. I feel, repetition of lines is just like repetition of sound or beats, which remains constant with the tune but varies in its temperament. The likeness for the classical and folk music came from my journey of being a classical dancer. I am practicing “kathak” (a classical dance form of India) since last 15 years. This art form talks about “taal” – the rhythm, constant like a heartbeat. And after all, rhythm is what makes us alive!
There’s a zen philosophy about mind and spirit which I had like to share.
chapter Xii of Chuang Tzi
“Maintain the unity of your will. Do not listen with ears, but with the mind. Do not listen with the mind, but with the spirit. The function of ears end with hearing; That of the mind with symbols or ideas. But the spirit is an emptiness ready to receive all things.”