December 2016 – January 2017.
People involved: Leah Houston, Nepali-Canadian academic – Sujata Thapa, Artistic Director – Michael Burtt, LASANAA Artists in Resident – Shrawan Kumar and Keepa Maskey, LASANAA Director – Ashmina Ranjit.
10 day Workshop
Keepa Maskey’s paintings draw on personal memories, cultural rituals, myths, ideologies and power structures to investigate how individual and collective identity is shaped. Her bold, colourful abstract works reflect on a disembodied world impacted by technological change. Flat areas of colour and shapes are segmented by thick black lines, recalling stained glass windows, cartoons, graphic novels and the way in which memory is layered and compartmentalized. Each differentiated form is simultaneously interdependent on the other, butting and vying for position, but together creating a dynamic whole.
Maskey’s complex paintings convey balance, movement and a quest for harmony, whilst maintaining a sense of uncertainty. Her colour palette draws on Nepalese symbolism and the source material for many of the paintings include: an attic where her Grandmothers’ religious rituals were performed (and Maksey was barred from as a child), her own experience as a young girl growing up in the caste system in Nepal, and her time in New York, reflecting on and romanticizing the landscape of home.
“At the beginning, Community Arts felt very vast, very vague, but now I feel like i am a part of it. I don’t need to wish; I can do it. Together we can do it. Through art, we are able to understand each other, build relationships, repair whatever our inner feelings, the society we want to see.” – Keepa Maskey
Shrawan Kumar MZN (Maharjan)
Shrawan Kumar Maharjan was born in 1991 and just recently graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Benares Hindu University. He focused on sculpture during his three years in Varanasi and took part in several group exhibitions there.
Having returned to his hometown Kathmandu, the 25-year-old had his first solo exhibition, which featured his small brass sculptures of the “frog universe”. Most of his sculptures reconnect to childhood memories of the artist who sees the frog as an icon as the image can be found globally in most cultures in (children’s) literature, fables, and songs. Shrawan also painted before becoming deeply involved in casting brass sculptures and hopes to be able to work on larger scale works in the future.
‘My Nepal experience challenged me as an artist and a human being in so many new and unexpected ways. I am so proud of the work we participated in.’ – Leah Houston.
Many thanks to MABELLEarts for their support and participation.
To read their full report on the project click here.