Neha Vedpathak | Certainty of Uncertainty
Friday, May 29th
2124 N. Damen Ave.
Multi-media artist Neha Vedpathak explores space, minimalism, subtly, and time in her solo exhibition Certainty of Uncertainty, opening on May 29th at Firecat Projects. The exhibition expressively responds to the aesthetics and geological idiosyncrasies of Arizona deserts. Iron-rich soils and sands are among the medium of the exhibition, and the show includes a Desert Room, complete with sand floor, dusk-like lighting, and ambiguous sound. Born in India and currently residing in Phoenix, Arizona, Vedpathak communes with unlikely material to engender reflection on the very immaterial. The artist describes her inspiration for these works saying, "When one ponders the certainty of millennia of geological changes that lead to these unique formations, uncertainty is everywhere. This was a pivotal realization."
A conversation with Neha Vedpathak:
1.) You have worked with subtle and very tactile materials--handmade paper from Japan, porcelain, soil, mirror, and turmeric among many other medium in your career as an artist. How do you know when you've encountered a material that will spark new chapters in your portfolio?
For the last 6 years of my career I have mainly focused on natural materials, so that narrows down options and choices quite a bit. I often think that these materials choose me. When I start working with a new material the decision is very intuitive, I have to take a leap of faith in some sense, listen to what the paper, soil, turmeric is saying...observing the materials very closely is the most important part of my process. My philosophy is to not force myself or my ideas on these materials but see where they lead me. I think that's when discovery and invention happens, both of which are very critical in my work.
2.) Shadow is almost another medium within many of your paper, porcelain, and “mass” works. When you’re constructing a piece conceptually, do lighting and subsequent shadow factor heavily in this design?
I think light is an important factor in my work, not just in relation to the shadows but as a basic element. Study of light is especially pivotal when I am constructing a large scale installations, since light leads the viewers attention, it also creates a mood, a sense of place, these are important factors to consider. But I would not say that role of shadow influences my work conceptually or in its composition. I’m not trying to achieve the most striking shadows through my work, the goal is always to create a piece of work that is compelling conceptually and aesthetically, that has meaning. Having said this, I do enjoy the play of shadows and the depth that it lends to my work.
3.) Your upcoming solo exhibition at Firecat Projects, Certainty of Uncertainty, is the result of two years of preparation and has been described as “a sculpture at the threshold of painting, installation, architecture and theatre.” Were there any last-minute surprises in completing this amalgamation of a creative experience?
Regarding the completion of the work, I would say, there were many new revelations but the most surprising one was realizing the importance of sound in this installation. The use of sound is very nuanced and yet it creates profound implications in context of the show.