Bikash Chandra Senapati is an artist from Orissa who is currently based in Delhi. He completed his graduation from Karnataka Chitrakala Paristh, Bengaluru, in Painting (2009-13), and then completed his MFA from IKSVV Khairagarh (2017-19). Belonging to the countryside, he is very much inspired by nature. He takes visual clues from his surroundings and represents nature with an individualized sensibility through fractals and geometrical patterns. At the same time, he also portrays the internal battles and experiences which everyone goes through in his art.
1. When did you decide and what prompted you to become an artist? Please give a brief account of your challenges and struggles in your journey as an artist. Any role models?
BS: I’ve been drawing and painting since my early childhood. In the academic classes too, my books would be filled with drawings. I decided in those days itself to become an artist. I didn't know a lot about this field at that time, but still I had this really determined goal in my heart. Gaining admission to Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Bengaluru, was a huge turning point in my life, not just in my career. As I belong to a really backward village which was not only connected to nature, but was nature on its own, I found it really difficult to adjust to city life. I faced a lot of challenges during my bachelor’s course. Much of the time after my graduation was rather difficult and challenging but really productive. As I took a four-year gap between my BFA and MFA, I travelled a lot while attending art camps, which gave me considerable time to work on my art and give shape to it in a really different way.
I don’t have a particular role model, but I try to learn the good qualities of whoever I meet – not just from my teachers, but from my juniors as well, I’ve learned a lot from them.
2. What art projects are you working on currently? What is your inspiration or motivation for this?
BS: I’m currently working on big-sized drawings and as soon as I get a proper studio, I will start my graphic works too. Whatever art I do, my main inspiration comes from nature as I’ve been really connected to nature since my birth. I try to portray elements of nature in my own way. The fact that I live far away from my home in the city also influenced my work hugely. I try to show how city life is affecting nature. Whenever I’m faced with lack of motivation, I remember my family, the struggles they faced, and immediately I get back the energy to work again.
3. Contemporary art has become very diverse and multidisciplinary in the last few decades. Do you welcome this trend? Is this trend part of your art practice?
BS: Yes, contemporary art has become very much diverse and multidisciplinary nowadays, and I surely welcome this trend. Art has to change according to the time. I believe art is what moves you, and it doesn’t have to be bound to any medium. I have a lot of ideas in my mind for multidisciplinary art and after some time, when I have the resources required, I’ll also go beyond my usual mediums like drawing and printmaking.
4. Does art have a social purpose or is it more about self-expression?
BS: I believe every art made by an artist is a form of self-expression in some way or the other. One makes art on a subject which impacts him or her. So, consciously or subconsciously an artist isA expressing through his or her art. As my love for nature is immense, one can see my concern for nature in my art as well. So, yes, my art has a social purpose.
5. Where do you create your art (workplace/studio)? What is your process?
BS: Currently I’m working in Delhi in my rental studio. It has been three months since I shifted here. Before that I was working in Khairagarh, where I did my masters.
My way of working is quite spontaneous. I don’t make layouts before working. Whenever I sit for work, I try to reflect upon the emotions present there in my mind at that time. I work according to the medium, be it etching, lithography or any other medium.
6. To what extent will the world of art change in the post-Covid period – both in terms of what is created as also the business of art?
BS: The world of art has been changing a lot since Covid and it will change a lot after Covid too. Art has this characteristic of constant change. Art workshops, camps and many other art activities are taking place online. But art has to be viewed or seen in person, otherwise you will not get the feel of art. The full art experience can only happen by connecting with art face to face. Art practical classes are also being held online, which is really problematic. At the same time, some good things are also happening because of Covid. A lot of art talks are being held in which anyone can participate from any geographical location. A lot of new opportunities are being created for artists. And, yes, business related to art is also changing and will change a lot more. More and more people are buying art online.
7. Tell us about any other interest you may have besides your art practice. Does it get reflected
in your art?
BS: I do write when I get the free time – not a lot but I do sometimes. And, yes, it does get reflected in my art in some way or the other.
(All images are courtesy of the artist, Bikash Chandra Senapati.)
The artamour questionnaire is a regular series of interviews with visual artists across disciplines, who share their views about art, their practice and their worldview on a common questionnaire template. Like, comment, share and subscribe to stay updated.