Vimla Dindoyal :

"A brushstroke cannot change this man's world, but a brushstroke can touch a woman's self esteem"


   Vimla Dindoyal est une jeune artiste peintre mauricienne : l'émotion est à la source même de son inspiration, qu'elle se traduise par l'abstraction, la figuration ou les motifs d'inspiration traditionnelle indienne. C'est à l'occasion d'une exposition aux accents féministes, en décembre 2010, que nous l'avons interrogée et qu'elle a eu la gentillesse de nous répondre.

Interview  -  Galerie


  • IR : Vimla Dindoyal, could you first, please, introduce yourself to our visitors ?

VD : I am Anjana Vimla Dindoyal, Mauritian artist who paints women and emotions, women and expressions and women and salvation.  My predilection theme remains woman, although I also venture in other pathways to experiment different sensations, for example in Abstract paintings where emotions are expressed through colors and lines only or in Digital paintings where splash of colors and shapes mixed with photography and paints become an abstract scenery which teases the viewer. It took me ten years to unveil my paintings publicly and to bear the eyes of the viewers on my "nakedness". Whether we like it or not... our paintings reveal too much about us. But it is an ultimate step if one wants to share his/her art. And this is also how I will learn,, grow and persevere.

  • IR : How did you become an artist ?

VD : I started painting ever since I was a child and my parents have always encouraged me to pursue further in the artistic field which explained my four years experience as a  Designer in a local  textile company, my four years  BA studies in Fine Arts with specialization in paintings and printmaking and my eight years experience as an Art and Design teacher in Secondary schools (which is still my actual profession). As an artist, I joined a group of  artists who call themselves Emotionists, as our paintings express emotions through various perspective and genre. Lately I had Group exhibition with other local artists and another duet exhibition is scheduled for this December. I am not sure someone become an artist, I believe more that somehow you are an artist ever since you are born, but circumstances and opportunity definitely help you be that artist. I am lucky that I evolved in such environment where my artistic abilities were always taken into consideration and valued.

  • IR : Which artists do you admire, in Mauritius and abroad ? Do you keep an eye on Indian painters ?

VD : Mauritius has a panoply of artists with a variety of styles and genre. Each of the artist here  shares art as they perceive it and one particular painter who really moves me with her art is Nalini Treebhoobun. I have had the chance to know her and see several of her paintings, she is definitely an inspiration, just like Frida Kahlo, Dali and Chagall  stimulate my imagination and senses. But I have one bigger crush, it is Anjolie Ela Menon, Indian artist. Her paintings were a catalyst to my inner senses, and I lost all inhibition to draw and paint what I feel.

  • IR : As an "Emotionist" artist, could you please tell us more about the way you paint and find inspiration ? First what kind of emotions could people see on your paintings : joy, sadness, fear, anger, peace... ?

VD : As an Emotionist artist I would say that I cannot paint if I'm not in a particular emotional mindset, be it revolt, peacefulness, joy, frustration or blissfulness. Absolutely anything can inspire me as long as it touches my emotion or sensitivity. From a dream, to a vision, a place, a face, an expression, a voice, a touch, a tree, a colour, a situation, a news, or the plain reality I-m living in.. anything.. Depending on my mindset or mood I'm in... the emotions will be seen on my paintings.

  • IR : As an "Emotionist" artist, could you please tell us more about the way you paint and find inspiration ? First what kind of emotions could people see on your paintings ?

VD : Body/Facial Expression and colours help me to convey messages and emotions. The attitude, bold or subtle, brings the viewer to reflect, to feel and to share the emotions of the canvas. Very often, I just pour out the emotions on my canvas without being aware of the impact it may have on a viewer, it is only after they comment that I realise I am revealing too much, but paintings are truths that we lie about, you cannot hide behind it, you have to face it.

  • IR : Some of your paintings are figurative, some are abstract : two different ways to express emotions ? Could you please compare ?

VD : Basically I'm a figurative artist, I have this need to see and feel the reality  but I am also a fervent learner and like to experiment. Abstraction is one of my experimental series. Conveying emotions just through lines, colours, textures and accidental effects are very revealing as well.. And reading an abstract painting can be so much instructive, you keep seeing the unseen everyday with a new vision. There is no ways of comparison between my figurative and abstract work, it is just a mindset, a phase... sometimes it is switched on figurative, other times on abstraction.

  • IR : You say that woman remains your predilection theme : why this predilection ?

VD : Ever since I can remember, Woman has always been my predilection theme. Why this predilection ?... I haven't found the answer yet. Is it because i am a woman myself ?  I have that connection with other women ?  I have been asking myself that question so often.. I haven't found the answer yet.

  • IR : For you, is woman only important as an aesthetic inspiration, or is there something else, something more ?

VD : For me, woman is definitely not an aesthetic inspiration !  It is more than that, it goes beyond it, it is the secrets, the inner intimate feelings, the feelings that a woman's truth must never be revealed entirely, we are so often misunderstood, it is the body through which I can express myself better.

  • IR : Mandala and rangoli also inspired you for many works : why ? And is it the only thing that recalls indian roots in your art ?

VD : I have worked on a few mandalas and rangolis paintings, as experiment. The idea was more to work on continuity, the circle, the wheel, the sun, it was more about showing the repetition in life, the causes and consequences, and the several turns. I used the mandalas and rangolis as a mean to convey this essence of what goes up must come down, the neverending chakras. It is not the only thing that recalls Indian roots in my art, the Mauritian society is heavily influenced by Indian traditions, and in all my paintings, I express that revolt against such traditional emprisonment. We may not dress up like Indians everyday and live like Indians but believe me, the Indian traditional mentality is very much anchored in the society, and the dangerous part of it, it is not visible, you can only endure it especially when you are a woman.

  • IR : Can you give us informations about the exhibition you have in December ?

VD : This exhibition is one that I have been longing to do for several years. Depicting women's inner selves, their fears as well as doubts, their mystification as well as secrets ; as women are not "sois belle et tais toi" ; women have more than meet the eyes ; this is the utter message in my paintings. Submission, oppression, helpnessness ; women endure these every minute of their life. Revolt, search of identity, quest for freedom are our ultimate salvation. Every painting reveals and unveils a truth that we hide or a lie that we live...  How far are we ready to drop the mask and state who we are ?  How far are you ready to look in our eyes and  accept what you see ? A brushstroke cannot change this man's world, but a brushstroke can touch a woman's self esteem.

  • IR : Any other plans for future ? May people in Reunion Island hope to see your works too ?

VD : I have many plans for the future, now that the wheel turns, nothing can stop it.

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