Conjuring visions of the unexplained, the unknown, the intangible; unwrapping a world of immense possibilities Untitled is a very special word especially in the contemporary art world. Lynn Hilloowala, the ‘not so obsessively ambitious’ artist stokes the fire of imagination in the viewers with a number of brilliant untitled paintings that are clearly more than just a burst of colours, but spontaneous expressions of a self-taught artist. Beginning from the first stroke, each painting is in essence a journey culminating in something quite indefinable yet beautiful. She believes that each piece of art is a unique experience that ought not to be constrained within the limitations set by definition.
But not all her works are untitled, there are a number of others too like Reclamation, Cloudburst, Citadel, Harlequin, Metamorphosis that bear the unmistakable element of mystery singular to her ouevres. If Reclamation captures the changing landscape around her and the transience of the environment, Metamorphosis is a lot more personal, born after a brief hiatus narrating the process of change that had come about in her practice after the break. In all her works, draped in the tapestry of rich hues one finds nebulous forms that seem frozen in time and layers of shades that weave pristine poetry. It could be a group of clouds for one, it could be a slice of the limitless galaxy, it could be the depth of a placid ocean or a dramatic soap bubble and yet, for another, it could simply be the wings of a bird or an ambiguous dream! The inscrutability and surrealism of the creations and the paradoxical freedom of perception this gifts is undoubtedly the hallmark of this prodigious young artist, who, in total contrast to the impenetrability of her works, is affable and easy to break into a conversation with.
As the daughter of the former editor of Reader’s Digest Mohan Sivanand, an accomplished painter himself, unsurprisingly Lynn played with oil paint and canvas as early as 3 years of age and she went on to draw on walls too. Having grown up watching her father paint, she was always drawn towards the medium. She says, “painting as a process for me has been primarily automatic with my lifelong association of sounds and vibrations to colour and form. It forms an underlying layer to all my work”. She held her first solo exhibition at the precocious age of 11 in the year 1996, followed by a joint show with her father at the Taj Art Gallery, at the onset of the new millennium yet she decided against pursuing art and went on to study business and economics in college. However, after a brief stint at an investment bank she bounced back to art by joining an auction house in Mumbai. Later she moved to London and obtained a Master’s Degree at Sotheby’s Institute followed by stints at various art galleries and the Philips Contemporary Art Auction House which gave her the opportunity to interact with world artists, visit their studios and see some of the best private collections of art. The four years spent in London brought her closer to the international art scene and she also exhibited her work at a staff show at Philips, an experience she recalls as having significantly shaped the artist that she is today. Rich with the world experience she acquired there, she returned to Mumbai to crystallize her callings in art.
Having set up a studio recently, she paints everyday for a few hours whilst managing her family! She often does more than one painting at a time as this gives her the opportunity to revisit a piece after working on another one; while this technique is refreshing and creates room for newer ideas to flow, it also gives her the freedom to follow the dictates of her creative urge, so to say! Some of her memorable shows are the ANZ Grindlays Bank, Taj Art Gallery and Philips De Pury in London.
The contemporary world of art is a space in constant flux and artists are always experimenting and exploring newer forms of expression and mediums of communication. Architectural, mechanical and other forms of installations have been proliferating biennales across the globe. However for the moment, Lynn does not see herself joining the race, manifesting great installations as she is not a 'great planner' and is drawn essentially to the automatic process of painting as a pursuit of pleasure more than anything else. The feeling of creating art is what nourishes and nurtures the creative person in her.
Art is a lucrative industry but behind every captivating canvas on sale is a world that is not only sensory but astute too. As an artist who was also an economist, banker and art dealer, she has straddled different worlds and strongly believes that knowing the economics of art selling is a plus for every artist.
So where does she see herself in ten years from now and she is quick to respond “being a fulfilling working artist, painting and showing work”! As an artist who left the “art world” to become a fulltime artist, there is great promise in her strokes and one hopes to see more mystical works from her in the times to come.
To view more of her remarkable works, pay a visit at the link: