Reflections in Resin: How Abhigna Kedia Uses Abstract Patterns to Express HerselfCreators And Collectors
Abstract patterns in warm hues of gold, brown, bronze, orange and blue, sparkle in the mellow sunshine pouring in through the windows. This is how you are welcomed into the space that Abhigna Kedia uses as her studio in Bangalore. Unique resin artworks adorn every wall of the emerging artist’s studio, where her creativity is fueled by music and poetry. “I always have great music playing when I’m working,” she says, adding that she goes through different phases with music, and is currently listening to Jimmy Sax.
An Early Love for Art
Abhigna Kedia’s passion for art runs deep - she has loved sketching and painting for as long as she can remember. “I used to hide colours under my bed, because I was scared that my sister would take them away,” she laughs. Growing up, Abhigna wasn’t interested in academics, but recalls enjoying Biology just because it involved some drawing. She pursued her Bachelor’s in Visual Arts from Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore, following which she got an Advanced Diploma in Art & Design from the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. Srishti is where she first explored the medium of resin, while working with fibreglass as part of a project. But it was only after she got married, that Abhigna decided to further explore the medium.
A Highly Complex Process
Abhigna spent over 18 months understanding the complexities of working with resin, before the outside world got to see her art. Painting with resin or epoxy is extremely challenging, as the process involves several tedious and labour-intensive steps. Self-taught in the use of the medium, she sought guidance and advice from established resin artists around the world.Many of Abhigna’s artworks are circular or semi-circular, as she finds rectangular and square-shaped surfaces slightly restrictive. While the base of her circular artworks is wood, she uses canvas for the rectangles and squares, since wood can bend from resin that gathers in the centre.
(Abhigna's studio in Bangalore)
While working on an artwork, Abhigna starts off with priming the wood or canvas five to six times, so that it does not bend. After this, she marks out patterns using a pencil. Working with acrylic colours, Abhigna enjoys spreading paint using her fingers, as it creates an intriguing texture which is vastly different from that of a paintbrush. While most artists using fluid mediums tip the base to control the movement of paint, Abhigna prefers not to. “I use my hands to spread the paint, as this gives me more control over the movement of the paint, and I know exactly how the artwork will turn out,” she says.
(Abhigna spreading paint on wood)
The Challenges of Resin
“Most people don’t realize how difficult it is to work with resin. When you mix it with a hardener and apply a coat, it catches dust very easily. I have a window of just 45 minutes to pick out the tiny specks of dust before the resin dries up. And this needs to be done with each layer,” says Abhigna. She procures high quality resin from abroad, although this makes it much more expensive for her. She is also careful to wear gloves and a mask to protect herself, as the application process can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. “It’s all worth it though, because I love the medium, and the freedom it gives me to express myself,” admits Abhigna.
(Abhigna's workspace at her studio)
A Mirror to Her Personality
Abhigna’s art is reflective of her personality. She finds immense joy in putting down her thoughts and emotions on canvas to form interlacing, ethereal patterns that are calming yet evocative. “What I love about my art and this medium, is that I can see my own reflection in a finished piece, both literally and figuratively. I know that my art is a part of me,” Abhigna says with a quiet confidence.
A part of the artist’s deeply instinctive and emotional self comes out through her expressionistic art, with its many layers that slowly unravel as you view her work. Abhigna’s inner thoughts and moods are manifested in her choice of colours, too. Some of these choices are instinctive, while others are influenced by poetry. “I read a lot, and if there is a certain line that catches my eye, I immediately visualise a colour palette connected to the words and use that on my canvas,” she says.
Abhigna finds portraying nature through her art meditative, and the process of creating her art deeply therapeutic. Her inspirations are varied, and the emotions that drive her creations, are as well. From celebrating the beauty of the world, to expressing her anguish over the fires in the Amazon forests, Abhigna expresses it all through her art.
While still in the early years of her artistic career, Abhigna’s art has already been displayed at shows in India as well as abroad. One of her favorite pieces, which was inspired by the Siq, or main entrance, in Petra, Jordan, was exhibited at World Art Dubai 2019. To Abhigna, it symbolized her entry into the world of art. “There was this one man who came into the booth and stared at the painting for 20 minutes. He then said it reminded him of a place that he had visited. Believe it or not, he was actually thinking of the Siq as well! I was so overjoyed; it was the first time someone was interpreting my art, exactly the way I had painted it. He purchased the artwork, of course,” she gushes, unable to contain her excitement as she reminisces the moment.
(The Siq by Abhigna Kedia)
Another piece that holds great emotional significance for Abhigna is one that was inspired by her late grandmother-in-law, bringing out her dynamic, warm, multifaceted character. While most people interpret the painting as a terrain with mountains and rivers, Abhigna notes that the gold in the painting represents her grandmother-in-law’s versatile, compassionate and free-spirited nature, and the sliver of blue at the top denotes a peacock feather, eulogizing her love for Krishna. “Abstract art can have multiple interpretations, sparking off interesting discussions and revelations. Every week, my group of close friends meet at my studio. I love showing them my latest works and hearing their interpretations”, she shares.
(Ma, a painting inspired by Abhigna's grandmother)
The world of resin art is perhaps not as explored in India just yet, but Abhigna Kedia is confident that the road ahead is full of possibilities, with more people appreciating this complex medium. Exuding positivity and excitement at what lies ahead, she admits she has found her true calling with this medium, and cannot wait to explore it more deeply in the years to come.