Sumit Singh intends to reach equilibrium with his abstract art pieces by creating art that connects us with the energies of the universe and evokes an ethereal, transcendent and healing effect. As a Bio Chemistry student, Sumit is fascinated by the nature of molecules and chemical reaction and likes to bring this experimentation to his work. We speak about his biggest learnings and his relationship with art and science.
Each piece is a reflection of my thoughts, energies and perceptions at the moment of creation. Reaching equilibrium.
I like how your art process is about connecting with the energy of the universe and exhibiting the vibrations of the cosmos within your paintings. Could you share more about this? And the inspirations behind your work.
My inspiration comes from nature – our universe. We learn that everything is made up of atoms and the rest is a void/energy. I see it this way – the universe is all energy. Why? An atom is 99.99% empty space, so the ‘thing’ that makes up all the physicality of this universe is actually very little matter but mostly a ‘void’ and it is this ‘empty space’ that allows matter to exist, allows for all the chemical interactions between atoms and allows it to group into molecules to construct biotic and abiotic species. That space is a medium for the subatomic particles to vibrate and emit their energy with their unique frequency wave. The law of conservation states that energy can’t be created, nor destroyed, it can only be transferred, thus the energies of universe transfer within me when creating art transforming the canvas into an energy graph – abstract and colourful.
So, I view the cosmos as a pool of energy constantly reacting to each other as each object, animate or inanimate, exhibits energy with every karma, emotion, movement and thought. At the end of the day, every atom, reaction, living being is trying to reach stability. Trying to reach equilibrium by becoming part of the higher self – Almighty. I try to resonate with these energies around me and what the universe intends to create via the art piece to bring about an ethereal, transcendent and most importantly a healing effect and atmosphere. Hence, the statement ‘Reaching Equilibrium’ can be found on my website, Instagram and anywhere else you can find me.
I attempt to create this effect using colours, shapes, textures and reactions of materials on canvases or boards. I take this a step further by using photographs of my paintings and other photographs I capture and combine them in photoshop to create a digital representation of those energies – another medium. Finally, to complete the multidimensional feeling of that energy, the viewers can immerse themselves in the energy field by surrounding themselves by kaleidoscopic projections from the same digital pieces. A holistic art energy experience.
You are also a Biochemistry student, how do you incorporate your science background into your art? How do you view the relationship between art and science?
I enjoy the polymathic nature of learning. Nothing can be taken out of context. Therefore, I enjoy the abstract thinking and sometimes rather philosophical thinking of art, connecting it with my passion for biochemistry – the nature of molecules and their interactions from a biological point of view, accompanied by my interests in geography, transportation, philosophy, Sanskrit and occasional poetry writing.
I enjoy experimenting with different chemicals and how they would interact when mixed with acrylic paints. Different colours have different chemical compositions which are all made in the lab by reacting compounds and heating them to form a range of colours suspended in polymers of resin. So, using different alcohols, salts and other reductive chemicals, I like to extract and change the chemical arrangement which brings out very interesting textures.
If we surround our environment with positivity, with healing, which my art intends, that environment nurtures good mental and physical health.
You have stated that, ‘Nature is the healer. Art is a form of healing.’ – how do you like to portray this relationship within your art? What role does nature have in your own life?
Nature is full of beautiful organisms continuously contributing to this universe symbiotically. I am always fascinated and mesmerised by the sheer simplicity behind the complexity of mechanisms carried out to do the same with the purpose of reestablishing dynamic equilibrium. As mentioned above, all of nature is just energy, so why not holistically use its healing properties by incorporating nature into our lives, from our food, medicine, thoughts and art (environment). An artwork is not just a piece of decoration hanging on our walls; it energises the room – institutes our thoughts as we see it every day; those thoughts manifest into emotions and impacts our health. So let the art be the healing hand as it dissipates the energies of nature to add to the holistic healing effect on the mind, body and soul.
A relatively new field in biology is the science of epigenetics; how the environment influences our physiology and I have been incredibly fascinated by Dr.Bruce Lipton’s perspective – the environment is everything. If we surround our environment with positivity, with healing, which my art intends, that environment nurtures good mental and physical health. Whenever I feel low, one of the things I like to do is just stare at my art – it gives me peace, it clears my negative thoughts – it becomes rather meditative. After all, it is exhibiting the healing energies of nature.
Walk us through your creative process .. what are the different stages of your work? From initial concept to the execution of your idea.
I have no set formula. I go with the flow; wherever the universe takes me, as a learner, keen on just enjoying every single brushstroke and swipe of the palette knife. I don’t plan out a piece on paper but I do have some visions and intuitions. It brings me great enjoyment in trying new techniques and relying on my emotions and energy to see how a painting evolves from a blank slate, taking in inspirations from the colours I see in my box of paint tubes, to the patterns that happen out on every mark – ever-transforming and organic like a plant learning and adapting as it grows based on its environment.
Depth is very important in my work, again exploring with different chemicals, means I work in layers. Sometimes ‘rest time’ is required to allow the layers to dry before proceeding; sometimes a painting is done within one sitting but numbers of layers can range easily from 2 to 10 plus. A lot of time is spent contemplating about the next layers; what will feel right, where will it feel powerful etc… in between layer drying times. Even after I feel a piece is done, I sometimes end up changing the orientation, size and presentation (framed or back-mounted) based upon afterthoughts. The journey is not complete here yet; I always take photographs of each piece as I never know when one of the photos will end up being the ingredient for my digital pieces.
Come to think about it, my digital pieces undergo a similar process of layering, fiddling around, adjusting – sometimes I dislike how it is going that I have to restart from square one before I feel content with the outcome and it is ready as a framed art print. Reaching equilibrium.
We are a work in progress – each artwork reflects my energetic state and continuous drive to improve, learn and develop as an artist and human being.
Do you have any art rituals? How do you like to work?
Tough question as I don’t have a ritual as such but there is one thing you will learn about me – I love SPACE. Ask any of my friends and family members, they will all say I take up too much space and completely take over the room, haha!! My art teacher even said that I had taken over the entire art department (in a positive way)!!
Yes, I enjoy having a big space to work. Though my current studio space is smaller than the space I had when doing my A levels, which I miss immensely, I love to be prepared to the best of my ability in terms of space, equipment, paints and others. This is because I never know what idea will come to me and what effect I intend to create. Even for the live performance, I did at Christmas last year, I took most of my stuff with me for that reason.
Since I enjoy painting quite big (the largest piece I have done is 9 by 17ft) and to paint multiple pieces at a time, having space is important to me as it gives me that zone to bounce ideas off one piece to another while allowing things to dry, while simultaneously working on another piece to satisfy my urge to create. Over this year I have enjoyed working on small ‘A’ sized work too, a fun challenge, but it excites me to work on sizes ‘A1, A0’ and boards measuring 100 to 200cm plus. Rereading this, I find a lot of similarities between my working style and my atomic interest from the first question, you can see where I get this from then…
Rudrapuspha – Hibiscus
What materials and mediums do you like to work with? How do you decide on your colour palette?
My medium of choice is acrylic paint because of their immense versatility. Although I am more of a mixed media abstract artist since I like to combine that with the use of spray paints, glues, salts, powders, chemicals, paper, tissues, paint mediums, and even cling film!! I tend not to varnish all my pieces as I feel it is essential to observe the organic-ness of the colours and textures of the painting as even after it is complete, it is slowly evolving as it organically reacts with the air.
For me, it is fun to experiment with painting on multiple surfaces. The main surfaces I paint on include: cotton canvas, MDF wood (gives me so much freedom with size and if I decided to cut a larger painting into smaller works), acrylic/perspex sheets (the translucency of it is adventurous to play with), chipboard and paper. I tend not to frame my canvases and MDF boards as I feel as though the frame restricts the painting with a border. I want the energies of it to extend beyond the piece, so instead, I add a backing to bevel it and create a framed floating effect. However, I do frame the works on chipboard, paper and the high gloss digital prints to give it some form and projection from its ‘2D’ structure.
Let the art be the healing hand as it dissipates the energies of nature to add to the holistic healing effect on the mind, body and soul.
How do you feel when you create art?
It is exhilarating, energetic, peaceful, healing, powerful, moving, deep, thoughtful, relaxing and sensational. Makes you want to dance with joy, burst out in tears of joy, just smile or ponder, reflect and connect – find a resting point. When painting it is just art, the universe, God and I – a state of ultimate bliss.
What have been some of the biggest lessons you have learnt so far within your art?
To not be too precious with it. To not let a particular area of a painting stop you from growing and developing. I have said for years that life is about growing and that the law of nature is change. Constant change. However, it sometimes requires a little time before it registers across all systems. Then finally, I learnt to accept that in my art too – when my work is about expressing the energies of nature, I can’t deny that law here – change is inevitable. So just allow the work to grow and change to its greatest energetic potential. We are a work in progress – each artwork reflects my energetic state and continuous drive to improve, learn and develop as an artist and human being. Each piece is a reflection of my thoughts, energies and perceptions at the moment of creation. Reaching equilibrium.
What are your hopes and dreams as an artist?
My hopes and dreams as an artist are to continue making art that acts as a medium to connect with nature, one’s inner self and the higher self. I feel that as a creative, artist and human being, the urge to create and learn is a never-ending pursuit. What makes people like me happy is to see the viewer as involved in that energy as you did in the creation of art and I wish to share that everywhere through multiple different platforms and places.
What can we look out for?
I was supposed to have an exhibition last month but due to the current circumstance that has now been postponed for a later date. In the meantime, I have been working on my website redesign, making my art more accessible for all; it should be live around the time this goes live – so watch this space. Behind the scenes, I have been working to transform my art into stunning cushions, tea towels and many more incredible designs, details soon to be released.
New paintings and digital work coming, including some work for the #artistsupportpledge initiative as well as some future shows!! For now, do follow me on Instagram for updates and get involved in my artistic journey!!
To view more of Sumit’s work:
Youtube: Sumit Singh