Artist, fashion and jewelry designer Lakshmi Mohanbabu dishes on the concepts behind her most popularised work
Publishing a plethora of work with over 300 paintings across various mediums such as Pen and Ink, Pencil Color, Charcoal, Acrylic and Watercolors – Lakshmi is proficient in art, architecture, jewelry and design, which has allowed her to seamlessly incorporate cross-cultural elements into every piece of work.
You started with portraits and gradually you have evolved into abstract & geometric art. What has inspired such evolution?
I am an Architect and a Fashion designer by training and have always been drawn to both figurative and geometric forms in equal measure. I alternate between the two.
At any given time, I am working on one piece that is geometric and another that is completely figurative. I started work on the Interactions series of paintings in 1992. Over the years I have added new layers of meaning to it. At present I have a total of 20 paintings in the series and it continues to be a work in progress.
The expressions series which are figurative have the same basic underlying concept as that of the Interactions series, the duality in nature be it in form or expression.
I worked on both these series simultaneously. I enjoyed the challenge of expressing the same idea in very different forms.
You are always looking for new techniques in your works of art, new textures and support. Tell us more about your creative process?
I look for ideas and meanings in different areas and do extensive research before I start my work, which then leads to the manner in which I want to handle the subject.
I allow the idea and direction to dictate the medium and texture of the paintings. These ideas may be viewed in symbols across the world in the form of mandalas, a cosmic diagram that best embodies our relationship to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.
If you were to name one mentor who has inspired you in your life and path as an artist, who would that be?
For me life has been my one mentor that has taken me through a completely unplanned route. Every place I have been, every experience I have had observing and discovering the methods of Artists, be it musicians, dancers, fine artists, writers etc. through history to every interaction with friends and family has impacted my choices and outcomes.
The path was random, not chosen. I planned to work as an architect, but life took a completely unexpected turn that had me illustrating books in the field of disability for the Voluntary health association of India and the WHO, onto another becoming a fashion designer, then a Jewellery designer and an artist. Every one of these twists in my life have influenced my Creative process and approach to design and art.