ARTIST INTERVIEW: SINTA TANTRA
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11.51/21st January 2013

Features

We recently caught up with artist Sinta Tantra, whose stunning piece ’Together, Yet Forever Apart’ adorns the external walls of Open Eye Gallery.

Tell us a little bit about  ‘Together, Yet Forever Apart’.

The piece at Open Eye Gallery is the start of a new series of public art works exploring coloured light, reflective surfaces and architectural spaces.

‘Together, Yet Forever Apart’ is based on the idea of “falling in love” and “forbidden love” – ideas stemming from the two exhibitions by Mark Morrisroe and Kohei Yushiyuki (both of which were housed in the gallery when the piece was first unveiled). Both artists deal with love, sexual love, the desire to love and to be loved, of memory and escapism.

How do you relate photography to your practice?

For me, photography is about the materiality light, the layering of light and the layering of colour to create a picture. With this in mind, I wanted to explore similar concepts but in a more physical way.

If you could place your work on any other building around the world where would it be and why?

It’d be fun to work with the world’s most iconic buildings. However my concerns are less about deconstructing icons of architecture – more about the viewer’s experience of colour, space and geometry. In short I’d like to think that I can work with well known as well as lesser known buildings – they all interest me.

You are based in London but you spent a large amount of time in Liverpool in the run up to the biennial show. What are your impressions of the city?

I love it. There’s a wonderful vibrancy about Liverpool -  the people are friendly, very chatty and there’s a thriving music and art scene here too. Liverpudlians are lucky to have such a large number of art organisations all within walking distance of each other. What I like most though are the wonderful pieces of public art scattered all across the city – they act as visual remnants of previous Biennials. My favourites are Jorge Pardo’s “Penelope” light piece on Wolstenholme Square and street text pieces commissioned by Visible Virals.

Other than Open Eye, what were your Biennial highlights this year?

I loved the Elmgreen and Dragset VIP door – not to everyone’s taste but I find their work very punchy, witty and breathe of fresh air compared to a lot of public art that I see.

Tell us your plans for any future projects.

I’ve recently come back from installing a painted mural for a group show at NEST – a wonderful art organisation at The Hague, Netherlands.

January 2013 is going to be a busy month. A public commission for Locws International, where we will be printing 6metre high gold palms trees on the high street in Swansea, Wales! Also opening this January is my collaborative show with sculptor Nick Hornby, curated by Ann Elliott for the lobby space of 1 Canada Square - that’s the very tall building at Canary Wharf, London.

It’s always fun and challenging working with other artists and people with different skill sets. I feel that as an artist it’s important to push the boundaries of both materials and concepts.

You can view Sinta’s work at Open Eye Gallery until May 2013.