Brinda Miller studied Textile Design at Sir J.J. School of Art in 1979 followed by Drawing and Painting at the Parsons School of Design, New York in 1989. Since 1982, Brinda has showcased her work through 15 solo exhibitions. She has been Hon. Festival Director of the iconic Kala Ghoda Arts Festival for many years, and has been instrumental in bringing this festival to its present popularity. Also, Art Adviser and Mentor to several NGOs and other not -for- profit Art Organizations, Committee Member of Artists Centre, a non-profit art gallery, at present, she is on the Advisory Committee of National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai ; as well as Education Consultant at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai. She has also been on several prestigious Art and Design juries, recent one being a SPECIAL JUROR for WADe Asia 2017 Artist Awards. She has won several awards like The Rotary Club of Sealand as ‘Acclaimed Artist’, 2009, Women Achievers Award from the Giants Group, 2009; International Women’s Day Award, the Indian Institute of Interior Design- Icon Among Women Award, 2010; Bharat Nirman Award, 2017, and more. In September 2017, she was also a TEDx speaker. Glad to share the interaction of SURFACES REPORTER with her.
1. Tell us about the scenario of art and artists in India?
Art & artists in India should be doing better in terms of making a livelihood and also being free of several restraining factors, such as, censorship and taxation. Art has in any case not been doing too well commercially. The government needs to be more sensitive to art and culture by way of education too. On the other hand, there is a huge amount of talent and a few private art galleries and museums are the reason why art and culture have survived.
2. Is there anything that you would particularly like to share about Women Artists of India and Asia?
Women artists in India and Asia are again, doing much better than before. Anju Dodiya, Dhruvi Acharya and Shilpa Gupta for instance.
However, we are still in a minority, and quite often there are reservations for women. I think women artists are quite capable of surviving or flourishing on their own without these reservations. I am sure that in future they will overtake their male counterparts!
3. Shri Rajeev Sethi had pointed out that in India only 2% is reserved for adding art to any project and whenever there is a budget cut, art is the first to be out. What is your opinion about it?
Rajeev Sethi is right. In the old days, Architects would be responsible for choosing the art for their projects. However, now the Client has become so-called capable of selecting their own. The corporates prefer to choose low budget artworks such as prints This holds true for office and commercial premises. In homes, it is usually the choice of the owner- and rightly so. Many of the known art collections have been old ones. There are a few young collectors too who like to pick up contemporary artists work.
4. Are there any other areas where you would like to throw light on?
I would advise Art Collectors to keep visiting Art Galleries and Museums and not buy art as an investment alone. Our children also need to be exposed to good works of art and aesthetics.
5. How was your experience as a Jury member in WADe Asia? Is there any specific message you would like to share with young women artists of India?
My experience as a Juror in WADe Asia was fantastic. I did not know what to expect. I was amazed to see the young women artists travel across the country to come specifically for this function. They had worked so hard and were hungry and excited for an interaction with me and I was happy that I could talk to them. My role of playing ‘ Mentor’ was interesting.
6. How can Art act as an agent for social change?
Any form of art should be a very important part of one’s life. It not only brings happiness and peace to people, it brings people closer and makes them more sensitive to the Arts and Cultural environment.
7(A) How else are Indian Artists contributing in this direction to make Art more inclusive (please share some examples)
Indian artists are always ready to contribute to social causes. Recently, an organization called st+art has created quite a stir around the country by creating public murals and installations in all the metros. I am passionate about Art in public spaces.
(B) How can Art move from the elite homes to the middle class as well. In what ways can a middle income person incorporate Art in his home, considering art appreciation or knowledge about Art may be limited.
The purpose of the now iconic Kala Ghoda Arts Festival was to bring art to the masses. This has been a huge success. Hoards of people come to see street art; bringing quality to the masses. Nowadays, art is accessible to all income groups. There are different kinds of art galleries that cater to different tastes.
8. As an advisory member of the NGMA, what kind of development do you see in the segment?
The NGMA is a Government organization. There, a lot depends on who is the Director and who is the Advisory for this. I feel that lately, the NGMA, Mumbai is doing extremely well; all concerned are in sync with what is required to run it. Good decisions have been taken regarding the kind of back to back shows that are lined up. I also advise the Education Section at CSMVS Museum, Mumbai which has an amazing show on right now called ‘India and the World.’ This is in collaboration with the British Museum.
9. Who is/are your favorite Indian Artist/s?
My favourite Indian artists are Gaitonde and Prabhakar Barve. Both were superb abstract artists. Of the contemporary artists I like Sunil Padwal’s work.
10. Tell us a bit about your own paintings.
My art imitates my life. My busy multi-tasking ways are reflected in the way that I paint- in layers. There is a certain excitement as well as a sense of calm that causes me to work on my canvasses. In a confrontation with all that I behold, I like to strike a balance between leading a busy life in the city that I love.
My work has always been abstract. This time round there is a bit of Architecture ! The show is titled “Vanishing Point”
‘Vanishing Point’, or point of convergence - this is a key element in many works of art which also is the underlying theme for this exhibit. In a linear perspective drawingvanishing point is the spot on the horizon line to which the receding parallel lines diminish.
With this new body of work, it is somewhat self-evident that I play around with the basic tool-bar of painterly options, laced with an underlying architectural theme.
In the past, the artwork created by Brinda has usually been landscape-based. It has and is inspired mostly by her travel all over the world. Lately it has become increasingly architectural as her studio has been physically part of an architecture office firm .Thus her latest works can be interpreted as a new phase wherein her preoccupations are now based on principles of the architectural and urbanscape abstraction -via vestigial lines, angles, arcs and ellipses, and through other geometrical devices. These forms continue to exercise a structural function – primarily that of a scaffolding that supports the many layered hues and shades, and their countering tonalities. Clearly, her paintings with their conscious denial of strict form, and their preoccupations with colour, are now to be seen as restless cityscapes. It is only apt that her paintings with their new approach are showcased under the title - Vanishing Point.
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