Sarah Gilbert (Homa)
Painter of France
“I liked a lot improving my Yoga, learning another way of life, visiting the temples, slowing down.”
Sarah Gilbert is a practicing artist. Most of her paintings are inspired by real, surreal and virtual world. These are of urban landscape, minimalist architecture where nature passes across a technological grid, acceding to surface status. In the tension between nature and built spaces, nature is put in order and reduced to abstract elements. Then those synthetic spaces opens up on a plurality of point of views. It results in static proposals of movement sometimes leading to a simple line. Her environment is the chaos from which she extracts patterns. Infinite information rise to the surface. Then the matter receives the drawing. The paint is a thing that develops its own life, its own space to a singular pictorial language.
By being at residency with AZIMVTH Ashram, Sarah aimed to pursue her work development in which two distinct forces are emerging: the materiality in its concreteness and a virtual aspect through the manipulation of signs on a flat surface. She was happy to be opened up to new artistic paradigms. The environment, the light, the mountainous air, the enchantment of the aerial and spiritual atmosphere are likely to influence her work in an infinite way.
With Yoga and spiritual practices, she felt a growth in her knowledge of who she is, and understood better what is the role of art in her life. She gained much more clarity and a better drive, whether it is artistically or spiritually.
As is done by many, Sarah took dips in Ganga, considered to be of great significance.
Art made before coming to AZIMVTH
(Above) Rafael Nadal
Gloss paint and Oil on Aluminium sheet, 50 x 60 cm
Gloss and oil paint on aluminium sheet, 25 x 25 cm
Oil paint on aluminium sheet, 79 x 50 cm
Projects at AZIMVTH
At AZIMVTH, Sarah was trained in Yoga and breathing techniques. She was already familiar with some meditation processes. During her residency she was very observant and utilised the opportunity to get newer insights.
Project A: Experiment on Metal
Inspired with a tumult of the new sights and sounds, Sarah made an art-work on aluminium sheet.
Project B: Experiment in Stone
There are hundreds of temples in Haridwar. There would be thousands of statues of deities in these. This demand has created a thriving industry of sculptures. The statues are enhanced with colours and paint locally. There are several marble engravers who use hammer a range of fine chisels as thin as pencils for making engravings in stone, mostly marble, and ocassionally granite and sandstone. Sitting at the open air studio at the roof-top in winter Sun, she made a few sketches. An example can be seen to the left. This was engraved, to the scale, by a local artisan-engraver manually. It can be seen below.
Project C: Experiments with Wood
Sarah was helped to get wooden blocks cut and finished at a wood-shop about 100 metres from AZIMVTH. Being in the foothills of Himalayas, there is a significant lumbering industry in Haridwar. Dozens of sawing mills and carpenters shops are just a few hundred metres away from AZIMVTH. Sarah wanted to experiment with making art on thick wood blocks.
(Images below: ‘Own Inner Self’, ‘Reflection of Your Mind: Puja in Haridwar’, ‘Know Yourself Know the World’)
Project D: Photography
Photography and drawing are not Sarah’s main practices but are fundamental to build her work. And also to document her painting process and environment. The context of Haridwar enriched her practice in that respect. Sarah clicked hundreds of photographs at AZIMVTH Ashram and in Haridwar. She activated the Instagram account of AZIMVTH Ashram and made its first post. The pictures were liked by a lot of people online.
Sarah Gilbert was exposed to the Indian system of astrology and horoscope. As guided by these mystical sciences, she took a new name of ‘Homa’ at the residency at AZIMVTH Ashram in Haridwar, India.
Sarah gifted all of the above mentioned art-works in the four projects to AZIMVTH. Besides these, she equipped the visual-art art studio at AZIMVTH with a lot of art supplies.
Impact and Next Levels
Sarah recently started to show her work and other people’s work on her Instagram account. Instagram is a wonderful tool for painters. She plans to show pictures of the studios at AZIMVTH on instagram. She will continue showing her work in process, landscapes, and local people she met at the residency and in Haridwar.
She plans to do other residencies and meet other artists. Her sharing of her experiences would convince other people who have a keen interest in art and spirituality to do this / similar experience too.
By showing her new body of work on her social profiles, her experiences will be relived by the alumni from the University of the Arts of London, her peers from Central Saint Martins School and her friends from other Schools of Art in London (such as Goldsmith, Slade, RCA) and abroad. Also also collectionners, publishers, bloggers, gallerists and curators etc. will also benefit from her residency at AZIMVTH in Haridwar.
“This (residency at AZIMVTH) is an amazing opportunity for people and artists who have a passion for art and who want to find a way to live their art in harmony with Yoga and meditation. This concept “Residency Ashram” is “avant-gardiste” and an answer to a lot of occidental or Indian artists who question themselves about the place of spirituality in their artistic activities.”