'WORLD FAMOUS ON ARTERNET ART' - FEATURED GUEST ARTIST - India Flint
|India Flint. |
Photo by SOPHENA KWON
Famous in the world of ecoprinting and ecodyeing, India herself explains it best:
'I negotiate a path between installation, printing, painting, drawing, writing and sculpture - immersing myself in and paying deep attention to - wherever I happen to be :: gathering thought and experience, imagery and marks, as well as harvesting materials for making.
I try to step lightly on the land while being nourished by it, and plant trees to compensate for the ecological impact of my wanderings.
The work of each day, philosophically rooted in topophilia [the love of place] literally begins with a walk.'
ArterNet Art: Hi India, thanks for taking the time to share some insights about you and your fascinating work with us today. I know many of our traditional artists will garner a raft of real life wisdom and candour from our chat.
The culture of our company - ArterNet Art - is to put a human face to all our members and guest artists.
Our blog series 'World Famous on ArterNet Art' is devoted to exclusive, in-depth interviews with brilliant, professional artists of the day. It is tailored with the new, emerging and working artists in mind.
Motivation for this series is to provide rare and valuable insights for all working artists:
• to discover innovative sales ideas and tips - which can easily be incorporated into an artists daily work practice.
• to show simple and proven methods of navigating your way through the intricacies of social media and online art sales.
• From past experience, we understand how new and working artists crave to gain knowledge and learn new insights that will help them in their marketing and online art sales.
IF: I’m not sure there was an actual ‘becoming’…this is just how my life seems always to have been. I have been gathering/arranging/making things since I can remember.
ArterNet Art: Have you had to overcome any difficulties or major hurdles on your journey to becoming the successful, established artist we see today?
IF: I’m not sure I would call myself successful or established…but I do think that many years of teaching and sharing have contributed to the creation of the kind community that now supports me through the School of Nomad Arts. Rather than seeing things as difficulties/hurdles I tend to view them as signs and guides, and adjust accordingly.
ArterNet Art: Can you give us an insight to what or who were your early influences?
IF: I have been very fortunate in my family. Both my parents would draw and design and make things (though my Pa was an academic in the field of Earth Sciences and an early predictor of climate change).
They were keen gardeners and frequently took my brother and me to wander in forests and play by rivers. My great-aunts and grandmother were also great influences, in very different ways.
ArterNet Art: How was your imagination captured?
IF: I don’t think it ever needed capturing. Friends still grumble that going for a walk with me is like being out with a three-year-old :: I can’t help being fascinated by everything.
ArterNet Art: What was it about the medium you've chosen that attracted you?
IF: I work primarily with plant dyes (an in particular with eucalyptus) because they are at the confluence of art, science, history, botany (there is so much to learn!) and because extraordinary beauty can be conjured from windfalls.
I also drift into installation work from time to time, creating environments from found objects (plant matter, bones, the detritus of society). One of the things I most enjoy is to be given a space in a museum or gallery and to transform it so that my work tells a story.
‘Anthology’, Kirschmann Gallery, New Orleans, USA 2019
'lifeboat’ from the exhibition ‘refuge’, Hahndorf Academy, South Australia 2017
ArterNet Art: India, what is it about the techniques you've chosen and can you explain to us how you use them.
IF: I developed the ecoprint technique from growing up with the Latvian method of colouring Easter eggs, simply by translating our ancestral practice from eggs to cloth (inspired by shibori). It appears in all of my textile work as a means of imbuing the object with an essence of place. Sometimes that’s a rapid process (boiling) other times very slow, such as the time I buried a cloth in a peat bog in Harris, Scotland and retrieved it the next year.
ArterNet Art: Can you share some insights into your process from conception to creation
IF: My work is rarely fully planned out, it’s more an intuitive process. Everything begins with a walk, with gathering thoughts and picking up leaves and bark. I draw every day but those drawings almost never relate to a finished work, they are more a way into understanding country.
When working with cloth I will stitch and piece the work together and then trust to the process of dyeing to complete the story. It might begin by finding things in a thrift store, pulling them apart, piecing them together with other fragments…adding wear marks from country, stitching into it, baptising it in a body of water somewhere and then cooking it, letting it rest and finally opening it to reveal the final state.
|Finished work (approx. 1200 x 1300 mm)|
ArterNet Art: Where does your inspiration come from mainly?
IF: I’m not sure there’s an active moment of inspiration…it’s the experience of the world and of life, percolating through me and manifesting itself. I see myself more as a conduit than a creator. Music, drawing, poetry, the wind on my cheek, the memory of a waterhole in the outback :: it’s a confluence of things.
ArterNet Art: India, given that your work is in a constant state of flux, how has it developed since you began and how do you see it evolving in the future?
IF: The most significant moment in my practice was the decision to work exclusively with plant dyes (1998), when I rejected brilliant synthetic colour.
I think the work is becoming visually simpler with time, though actually more complex in conception. I am very grateful that I no longer have to make clothing for sale in order to put food on the table, and that by teaching through my school, I have been freed to simply follow my heart in what I make.
ArterNet Art: Can you give us an overview about a piece of your work that holds particularly fond memories and why?
IF: After my parents passed I created a series of Landgarlands that I printed into blankets. They were braided from trees we had planted here on the property where I still live. When the blankets were dyed I made a smoking ceremony for them, out on the land.
They are pieces that remind me of them and may perhaps be my own shrouds when I pass (I’ll be twice wrapped).
The ‘Landgarland’ blankets (approx. 2 m x 2m each)
ArterNet Art: Is there anything in particular that inspires you to create art?
IF: It’s a part of my daily life. Like breathing.
ArterNet Art: What has been your favourite or most memorable art sale?
IF: I was very happy to have my work ‘beyond repair’ purchased by the Art Gallery of South Australia. It is about our biggest river, the Murray, and the parlous state it’s in.
'Beyond Repair’ (with ‘waterbag’ in background) approx. length 12 metres
shown at Murray Bridge Regional Art Gallery 2012
ArterNet Art: Marketing your artwork: do you have any tips? Do you struggle with marketing and what areas could you use some guidance for?
IF: Marketing is not my jam, to be honest. I tell stories on Instagram and maintain a website but I have no real plan, and I actively dislike receiving marketing emails, so I try not to inflict those on the world unnecessarily.
I know I could be more active, but it’s not in my soul to do that.
ArterNet Art: How has your arts business/career changed over the past 6 months or year?
IF: Since the evening of March 18, 2020 life has changed dramatically. On that night, two years of workshop bookings were cancelled, and I realised that I would not be travelling overseas for some time.
Happily I have found solace in connecting with the lovely community that has grown around the School of Nomad Arts…and of course derived deep satisfaction from creating classes for them as well as exploring new directions in my own work.
ArterNet Art: What plans and goals do you have for the future, both creatively and personal?
IF: I’m happy to wake up breathing every day, and respond to what comes…but I do have some dreams.
I’d love to find a publisher for my third book (I’m still dithering about the title) that will follow on from ‘Eco Colour’ (Murdoch Books 2008) and Second Skin (Murdoch Books 2011), and I am hoping the Australian Government lets me off this big island next year to take up my artist residency on Fair Isle (presently only politicians, sportspersons and celebrities are allowed to travel…artists apparently don’t count).
ArterNet Art: What advice would you give to an aspiring new artist?
IF: be yourself and follow your heart. Life is short and there’s no time to waste.
At ArterNet Art we are all about inspiring our artist members.
|'Viscera' from 'anthology' exhibit, New Orleans 2019|
approx 1200mm x 1600mm
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