Known for both its experimental nature and ethereal aesthetic, resin is fast gaining attention from contemporary artists.
While the compound, which can be cultivated naturally or created synthetically, resin has traditionally been used in polishes and varnish. Many present-day artists and designers are now finding new and inventive ways to incorporate the malleable material into their practice.
Lustrous like glass but compositionally similar to plastic, resin effortlessly pairs form with functionality, resulting in an endless amount of artistic possibilities.
Here, we will explore an eclectic selection of resin art, created by the self-taught artist Vidya Mukund based in Mumbai, whose moniker happens to be ArtistByPassion.
When asked about her journey till now, Vidya shares, “I was a student of science and graduated with a Masters in Anthropology. I also acquired an MBA degree in marketing and international finance followed by a doctorate (PhD) in Anthropology. I could have pursued the fields I qualified in but something pulled me into the world of art.” Vidya believes that, when God created human beings, he also decided that human beings be creators themselves; creators of mankind, of a better world, of art.
“While art is all about having a sense of aesthetics, it is more importantly about a sense of expression and the ability to make someone feel something. Painting for me is coming back home to myself; an act so simple yet so satisfying,” says Vidya.
Vidya’s aim is to create pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces using resin that reflect her insight into nature and life. She says, “A lot can be said about painting. Painting is basically silent poetry, one that conveys without the use of words. Painting is also all about self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he or she is. Painting is a lot of things and for me it is a channel for the love that I have within me. My art is something that I am always going to nurture and be fond of at the same time. The sheer joy of seeing the colors come alive from memory is what keeps me going.” Chris Kraus, an American writer and filmmaker once said, “Every letter is a love letter.”
Vidya would like to rephrase that, she believes that, “every painting is an expression of true love.” There are several ways in which one can meditate. Vidya finds it therapeutic to swirl paint colors around; for her, that is meditation! It was only, a year ago that Vidya stumbled across the world of resin art on YouTube and became so entranced with the idea that she plunged headlong into it.
“Having lived next to an ocean and watched drone images of oceans and the surrounding nature, I was very inspired to attempt an abstract version inspired by the waves and the sandy beach. The creative process with resin art is enticing – the moment you start pouring your resin over your canvas surface or your wooden board it is that sense of ‘flow’ that the painting follows. The “flow” becomes a subconscious mental zone where heightened creativity becomes possible,” says Vidya.
Making a painting with clear resin is quite a learning experience. Different types of paints and pigments react differently to the resin mixture. Resin is a two-part compound that hardens to a clear glossy finish. One can add paints to the resin, or paint something and then pour resin over it to create the finish.
“It is because of the intuitive process of creating resin art that it becomes this living thing that’s of the moment. The idea is to capture a memory of nature and turn it into something tangible. I would best describe my technique as experimental. It gives me more room to make mistakes and to learn. I think mistakes are an integral part to achieve any end result,” elucidates Vidya.
It’s those unforeseen moments that have artists smiling and cringing too at times. But that’s the joy of it, the ability to paint an intangible memory into a tangible keepsake. The depth of resin art is hard to grasp in words or even in a photograph. What Vidya strives for, is to evoke an emotion in the viewer and hopefully a sentimental one.
“My paintings are purely my attempts at putting down my feelings using paint, resin and canvas,” signs off Vidya.
Text By Mala Bajaj