I am an artist and less of an art critic though my job as a journalist has given me plenty of opportunity to tear down or promote creative masterpieces. Though I have left that role and am pursuing my heart for art I cant but help myself quit the habit of analyzing things even while I have retired to my original self - blu who paints. All things bright and beautiful attract bluvian eyes - like a butterfly to marigold.
This post is dedicated to a spectacular find in the contemporary art circle of the UAE.
Quite active in the UAE's new art scene is a doctor who paints with syringes among other things. Approximately an year back I had a chance to be at his studio and have a closer look at his then new series on ink. I am talking about Dr Ashwin Pillai, a general practitioner by the day - who is a passionate artist at heart. Dr Pillai has a unique way of expressing his abstract thoughts on canvases, boards, paper. "I try every medium I can lay my hands on," he says.
Very bright and electric, some of his works remind me of powerful lightening on a dull sky that is soon going to witness a storm... or is it that first bolt from the blue that made atoms collide to create life cells on the planet?
If you don't believe what I say here just have a look at these works.
"These works require a bit of lung power as well," says the doc. He uses syringes to acquire some of the fine vein-like branches. A combination of science, fiction or both, some of his works have an ethereal essence.
Another of his works that really blew me away is this one...
This doctor also believes in alternate ways of wellness and practices Arhatic Yoga - a comprehensive system of spiritual practices that anyone can follow on a regular basis to rapidly and safely accelerate spiritual evolution. He practices yoga and mediation on a regular basis. It is amazing to know that he does all this while pursuing a pressing career as well as an addictive passion. Perhaps it is his spiritually enlightened side that shines through his abstract renderings that show nature and super natural effects.
Particularly sun, round/elliptical shapes are found in many of his works. Made in two different mediums and belonging to different series all together, to me these two paintings below seem like they are holding up the sun. The first one belongs to The Void series the second one is an almost barren skyscape. On an abstract note, perhaps each void is meant to shine light, like sun does.
His ink on paper series were shown at Abu Dhabi Art Hub on its inaugural exhibition last November.
Ashwin also works with acrylics and makes sculptures from recycled objects like bottles and shoe boxes. "I love to create interesting things with used bottles, like bookends etc."
More about this artist...
Dr Ashwin Pillai lives in Abu Dhabi. He is keen on making a difference to the mundane life that gulf offers. Being passionate about helping people heal, he has acquired a certification in pranic healing. Pranic healing is an energy healing technique which utilises the 'aura and chakras' to balance positive energy levels to aid body's self healing capacities. He practices meditation to help connect with his surroundings from a deeper perspective. "There is no better antidote to stress than being able to dream and do what you dream about," says Dr Pillai. To those who ask him if he is in the right job he has only one thing to say. "I am quiet content being a doctor. It not only gives me an opportunity to do good but also pays me to pursue my passion."
Being a doctor he lives a hectic schedule but his few moments in leisure are spent meditating, dreaming, creating art, watching movies or writing. "I have a busy leisure time," adds the doc who participates in various creative events across the emirates on his off days.
He had won the best story writer's award by the British Council Library for UAE participants last year. He painted live at Art Nation's 2013 edition at Burjuman Centre recently. This video shows one of his recent works coming alive.
His artworks are showing in various galleries in the UAE.
I recommend you to see more of Dr Pillai's works at his blog http://www.artashvin.blog.com or his facebook page www.facebook.com/artashvin