Maya Luthra BA (Hons) Fine Art and Art History 2020

I use abstract painting as a tool to navigate my experiences as a woman of colour and as a platform for learning about colour theory. My paintings focus mainly on considerations of colour and shape, in particular how slight tonal shifts in colour can alter the way they sit next to one another. Mixing and blending pre-existing colours is at the forefront of my practice and draws on my experience of being a person of mixed heritage – a mix of races, of colours, of identities. I take this idea further through the exploration of texture by experimenting with printing techniques: prior to lockdown screen printing, and since lockdown lino printing. I view printmaking as an extension and an essential aspect of my painting practice. 

The circle is a symbol of oneness and they provide the backbone to the paintings by introducing the colour palette and by creating contours to work against. 

The incorporation of figurative shapes investigate the relationships between myself and those close to me who are white. How these figures interact with each other and the other shapes within the artwork provides a commentary on my position within society: my position as the only person of colour on my university course, my position in mostly white friendship groups and my position going forward in the artworld. The exploration of the figure has been brought forward in my recent paintings with the depiction of two figures, either drawn overlapped or facing one another. The figures feel separate to the painting itself, almost as if they’re coming out from the surface: how can I manipulate aesthetic qualities (colour, shape, form and texture) to present my experience as a woman of colour in relation to my white counterparts?