INSIDE THE WORLD OF AN ARTIST
For the latest instalment of The Portraits Series, we invite you back to the studio of Contemporary Artist, Indivi Sutton.
Celebrating the second drop from our creative collaboration, we delve deeply into the emotive nature of colour and explore fashion as a form of self-expression.
Come with us as we dive head-first into canary hues that ripple softly into grounding taupe, umber and lilac, reflecting the spirit of the earth beneath.
YOU RECENTLY TRAVELLED TO SOURCE NATURAL PIGMENTS. WE WOULD LOVE TO KNOW MORE
“I first discovered pigment powder eight years ago in Venice, I found there was nothing else that enabled me to achieve the movement and layering on raw linen. These saturated powders hold the presence of nature and vital, visceral energy, and painting with them feels very connected to the way storytelling evolves in my work. Initially, the translucent qualities are dreamlike and come to life by building tone, perception, and depth.
Last year I travelled to explore the world of pigments and understand their origins. I visited Dolci Colori, outside of Verona, which was founded a hundred years ago by Aturo Dolci. I had been waiting three years to visit and meet Andrea, the great-grandson of Alturo and discover the essence of these powders that have been this family’s heartbeat for four generations. I rode by bike to Dolci Colori to meet Andrea, about half an hour from the train station in Verona. His beautiful mother was busy in the storefront that sells the firm's earth colours, oxides, products for restoration, building and bio building, lime paints, washable paints, plasters, spatolato and ecologic products. Andrea appears and leads me into the factory, his gentle nature expresses immediately the connection he has to the process and meaning of his material. In his office are cabinets filled with files of powder, many from his grandfather that are almost encyclopedic in the stories they hold.
The walls that lead to the factory are painted with pigment colour samples, as we venture into the manufacturing area, he shows me the barrels that are filled with the ground minerals that have released their essence in mounds of vibrant colour. Some of the most potent red pigments come from the earth surrounding Verona. Each earth colouring is treated with a different working process, some are coarsely crushed, some first fired in the kiln or others are mulled by hammer or ball mills. It is a process of experimentation over many years that has given Andrea the knowledge to understand each mineral and how best to extract its colour.
I am amazed by his generosity, sharing his knowledge and how we find a common language in colour. We talked for a long time, and he drove me to the train to return to Venice. To meet the maker of these essential ingredients was to connect with someone who truly understood their power and our appreciation for each other’s expression was beyond words. What became so evident is that this age-old practice of the releasing of colour from the very material of nature and the earth, gives rise to nothing truer in its purity of expression and depth, because it holds with it the very essence of being.”
YOUR WORK ENCAPSULATES THE ESSENCE OF HOW COLOUR MAKES YOU FEEL. CAN YOU SPEAK TO THIS?
“My education began at a Rudolf Steiner School, first in Pre–K in Massachusetts then into kindergarten in Manhattan. The ethos is to live fully emerged in the kingdom of childhood for as long as possible, by connecting with nature and all her expressions. Understanding colour was intrinsic to the experience; through celebrating the seasons with a deep understanding of how light and colour penetrate our beings. We were given one colour at a time, first in watercolour paint where we learnt to fill a whole page with one colour almost as a meditation, and then used wax crayons to write and illustrate one book for all our lessons. I believe this engagement with fully appreciating the expression of each colour in its pure form is why I have a sensory relationship with colour and how I feel it so deeply, not just seeing, but feeling the tones that live within an object, element, or place.
The colours are of nature, and the hues conjured from my internal and external world; tones that surround and remind us of our connection to being. For instance, the transitions of feeling the sky as the sun sets or the full moon rises to illuminate the ocean, greens that whisper to the soul that it lives resonating life itself and connects to the golden light of humanity as one.
I deeply connect to colour as a language, I feel and see it with each breath. The colours that emerge onto the canvases for each work are formed from deep contemplation and observation with my surrounding world, the universal language of absence and presence, remembrance, and of hope and healing and essentially of being human.”
DO YOU REPRESENT THIS THROUGH YOUR WARDROBE?
“I see what I wear as another expression of my inner nature, I want to feel at one with the outfit I select. Clothes have always been a means to externalise what I carry within. When I assemble an outfit, it becomes a significant avenue through which I connect to the world, another way for me to communicate emotion to those around me.”
HOW DID YOU FEEL SEEING YOUR 2D WORKS COME TO LIFE AS THREE-DIMENSIONAL WEARABLE ART ON THE BODY?
“It is a dream realised to collaborate with Bianca, and it was beyond my wildest dreams it would evolve into what it did. Working with Bianca who I so admire and respect, who holds so much integrity in love, creativity, and as a woman. It has been one of the greatest chapters of my creative journey. To know her inspires my inspiration and desire to stay true to myself and my practice.”
HOW DOES YOUR WORKSPACE INFLUENCE YOUR CRAFT?
“I have been painting in Sydney, where the light has a vivid quality, now producing my exhibition ‘Euryth‘ in New York, there is somehow a glow in the light shining through the windows of my studio.
The connection between the elemental nature of my painting to my workspace is natural light and space. My work needs to breathe and be amid illumination as it changes throughout the day, being ‘of nature' there is a connection that occurs as I paint with the space and the light where this occurs.”