Ashwin: Soul-inspired painter uses skill to celebrate women

Some of the creative works of Ashwin Patel. [Anjellah Owino, Standard]

Ashwin Patel’s body of work, ‘Awakening’, is a blend of monochromatic and multicoloured art pieces. The ‘soul-inspired artist’ experiments with black gel pens, markers, jewelry, fabrics and acrylic paints to compose stories in form of realities and abstract.

Ashwin celebrates womanhood, drawing images of women using a gel pen and adorns them with actual colourful neck-pieces and pairs of earrings. In other pieces, he coats on African prints using markers and acrylic paints to centre on themes of Hindu culture, nature and family. More than 60 of these pieces are stored at his home as he awaits the opening show at Exhibition Hall in Village Market on October 9. This week-long exhibition was curated by William Ndwiga of Little Art Gallery.

It is no surprise to him to significantly use gel pen in his craft. Ashwin’s first interaction with art creation began with the tool in his early days and stopped. He reconnected with it three years ago when he sent a birthday card to his granddaughter living in the US, awakening his passion to now create and share his works with the public.

“My friends were impressed with what I can do with only a gel pen. They encouraged me to start using acrylic paints too. I am in control of one colour when I draw with a gel pen. When it comes to using acrylic paints, markers and fabrics, I have to think deeper on how to mix all the colours. It tests my mind a lot,” says Ashwin.

‘Awakening’ is Ashwin’s first exhibition, his introduction to the art scene. Family and work demands took a great amount of his time, he has little knowledge about what has been going on in the art space. Perhaps it is his little familiarity with the scene that has given him the freedom to make use of gel pens and markers.

He describes himself as a soul-inspired artist, leaning on his mind and soul to sketch thoughts on themes he is excited about. “I play with emotions in my work. Art for me is an emotion, a journey into the unknown and I know I have to map my own paths along the way. This reawakening has allowed my emotions and soul to evolve,” he says. “My passion is not about creativity alone. It is about the person I am becoming when I am creating, the calmness, happiness, peace, the Zen that I experience. I have a wild mind and through my art I channel it onto paper and canvas.”

Ashwin is also a CEO of a paper manufacturing company. A splash of his artistic skills is noticeable in the designs of the notepads he sells. Although the job initially took plenty of his time to be able to walk on his passion, he says it has now given him free will of creating art without necessarily wanting to make money out of it.

“Talent is a gift, people should do it and let the world enjoy it.”