Muscat: An Oman-based artist, whose works were featured at the Art Dubai show, says she’s proud to have had such a big platform to share her paintings and sculptures with art lovers from across the world.
Radhika Khimji, whose works were inspired by Oman’s Hajar Mountains, was very pleased to exhibit her pieces at Art Dubai, which ran from March 21 to 24.
“Art is always what I’ve done: right from a very young age, I was always drawing, always colouring and that is how I used to express myself in many ways,” she said, speaking exclusively to Times of Oman.
“I’ve always been shy so I was very happy with my colouring pencils and colouring books. That was very natural for me. My family has always been very supportive and very encouraging and always come to all my exhibitions.”
Having learned at the Slade School of art and the Royal Academy in the UK, Radhika was a resident artist at Galerie Krinsinger in Vienna when she was offered the chance to share her works at Art Dubai.
“Galerie Krinsinger do many art fairs and are very prominent at Art Dubai; they brought some work of mine to one of their fairs,” she said.
“My work is about construction, and what I mean by that is how we build an image. I think about piecing things together and this is a very physical process that I often compare to the construction of a building site. I think also of the psychology of a person when I am doing my art, because we are constantly building ourselves and nothing is ever fixed. That is why the title of my show is called On the Cusp because we are always on the cusp of something.”
“We live through our experiences and we measure ourselves against differences and sameness and we grow over time when we put ourselves in challenging situations,” added Radhika. “When we stretch ourselves and are uncomfortable, it is usually when we go somewhere we don’t really know of. It is a challenge and this is a very nurturing scenario.”
Radhika urged creative people to study and work abroad, saying it greatly added to her sense of perspective.
“When I went to Vienna for my residency, I was able to really go through some of my work, because nobody knew of my work there, so nobody had an expectation of what I was going to bring there. So, I could really take away the things that were no longer working and bring in what I thought was working within a new environment,” she revealed. “You don’t often see yourself when you are living with your family, and when you go out, you need to find different ways to negotiate.
“I guess, in the end, this sounds really cheesy but I have learned that I have to be really true to my initial impulses and not get confused by what’s in fashion, and stick with what my curiosities are and to remember my initial drive,” she added.
“That can get confused by people’s opinions or your experiences in the world, but, usually, it’s your first impulse that needs to be respected, honoured and taken care of.” Having gained plenty of life experience during her time as an artist, she also had some advice for budding artists in Oman.
“My art is about the thought process or that space between a thought and an action,” said Radhika.
“This is about the journey that one can go on, which has a beginning and an end, and in the end, you have this grouping of 24 images, all of which were taken at Oman’s Hajar Mountains. I think you have to be really true to your initial impulses and definitely be really courageous and stubborn, and don’t listen to the negative voices in your head. Be really true and confident that this is indeed what you were born to do.”