Exploring Abstract, Misty Landscapes: An Interview with Iaysha Salih
Dive into her colour palettes, she is particularly skilled with using vibrant colour, and I’m personally captivated by her greys.
In Undecided, (shown below) it’s as though she has built up a haziness by meticulously layering washes of paint, and meticulously layering her memories of the landscape. Appropriately, in her artist statement Salih draws upon the words of Chekhov, saying, “the subject must pass through the sieve of my memory so that alone which is important remains.” The thin watery layers of paint succumb to gravity, creating fine drips that collect at the bottom of the canvas. In this way the abstract, misty landscape seems both distant and near, depicting an anonymous place while still being subject to the natural phenomena of our own natural world.
SG: Where do you get your inspiration from?
IS: The diversity of sources from which I take my inspiration is reflected in the spectrum of the subject matter; which extends from pure abstraction through to landscape and figurative work. The impulse for me to put brush to canvas can be triggered by a song or poem, by the sky, or by the colour of a stranger’s dress as they stroll by. The sights, smells, colours and culture of places that I have visited on my travels
have proven to be a constant source of artistic stimulation. I have travelled extensively around the world, spending many years in Australia, India, U.S.A and Thailand. My practice of meditation and healing has an enormous influence on my work.
SG: What are you working on at the moment?
IS: I am currently working on a new pouring series, based on my personal meditations. Creating abstract compositions of colour and intensity. oils and glaze mediums are poured directly on to board occasionally with the use of collage and transfer. I love the way in which the paints react during this process. This organic reaction is then manipulated to create the finished piece, working intuitively I contemplate every mark
and it can be several weeks before a painting is completed.
SG: Is there a specific theme or concept you keep in all of your work or does it
change with each series?
IS: The fundamental theme behind my work regardless of the subject matter is light, space and colour. Perhaps the conveyance of emotion is what draws me to paint. My work is about atmosphere, imagination and feeling.: universal themes that defy the boundaries creating abstract works.
SG: If you could own one work of art what would it be?
IS: There are so many artists that I admire and different genres. I have such an eclectic taste from 13th century renaissance to mid 20th century. But if I had to choose it would be between Helen Frankenthaler, William Scott, Peter Lanyon or Franz Klein.
SG: What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?
IS: I feel a strong desire to provide art that heals and provides a source of nourishment for the soul. I seek to convey more to the viewer than simply what is present; to give an internal and spiritual insight into the magic of nature, creating an intensified vision rather than a naturalistic description.
SG: What advice would you give somebody who has just started their artistic
IS: Inspiration is essential, and being inspired by what is around you will enable one to paint naturally from the heart. Make art a daily practice whether this is using a sketchbook to create ideas, photographing something architecturally stimulating or taking home an object that can be used as a subject matter in future works.