The Art of Mystery
Hannah Masters-Waage • Published 19 Apr 2012 09:30 0 Comments
Reading Contemporary Art Fair preview
WALKING into artist Rukshi Brownlow's home I am greeted by bright colours, bold shapes and Lara the Labrador. Every wall of her family home in East Reading is draped with her paintings, printworks and photographs, each expressing a part of the mother-of-two - her past, her travels but most of all her fascination with mystery.
In the dining room hangs vivid close-up photographs, of what? I do not know and Rukshi will not tell - it is a secret that exists between her and the subject and one that is key to much of her work.
The 45-year-old said: "People are never allowed to know what the photographs are of, it's about taking the ordinary and seeing the extraordinary. It keeps a bit of mystery and it makes people stop and look and
Rukshi shares her home with husband Harry, daughters Maya, 15, Jessica, 12, Lara the dog, Sam the cat, Salazar the python and
four chickens. She said: "My art gallery is my home - it reflects me and tells the way I see the world, it makes it a meaningful home."
As we wander around the house she talks to me about some of her pieces which she refers to as painting with a printing press - using the press to layer colours and create abstract landscapes. Winter does not exist in these bright pieces, in fact winter does not exist much in Rukshi's world.
"I don't even notice the winter," she says, adding that she often works from photographs during the colder months. "We have to put up with so many dark days in this country, but I surround myself in daylight. When it starts getting dark I even have a daylight lamp."
As we chat in her studio, where creations hang from a clothesline and stand in piles - their bold colours masked by delicate layers of tissue paper - we start to delve deeper into her interest in mystery.
The former doctor was born in Sri Lanka and moved to London when she was five, where she quickly assumed a British identity. But as with the objects in her photos, Rukshi believes that a person can be seen in many different ways. My photos parallel my life, it's about perspective" says the well-spoken artist.
People look at the colour of my skin and put me in one box, then they hear me speak and they put me in another box, but I don't belong in either of those boxes.
"I create something from the inside and everyone sees it from the outside. Everyone and everything is a mystery, you can never really understand a person completely - my art is about exploiting that instead of shying away from it."
Rukshi Brownlow will be exhibiting at the Reading Contemporary Art Fair at the Rivermead Leisure Centre from Saturday-Sunday, April 28-29. Visit www.rukshibrownlow.com to find out more about her work.
See The Chronicle next week for a profile of photographer Steve Bumphrey, who will also be at the art fair, where more than 80 artists and galleries will be exhibiting and selling their work, priced from £40-£4,000. Visit www.readingcontemporaryartfair.co.uk for more information and tickets.
This article appeared in Reading Chronicle 19 Apr 12