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Kamal D Lathar – Artist & Author

Oxfordshire Artweeks 2019 – Part One

In 2018 I became a member of the LiterArties, a newly formed group of Oxfordshire writer-artists, all published authors and exhibiting artists. Some of us are professional artists, others are amateurs with varying degrees of training, and all of us are passionate, inspired and visionary about capturing our creativity be it in writing or painting.

We have started our series of joint exhibitions in February 2019 at the Jam Factory, followed by the Old Fire Station (OFS) and the ‘Spice of Life’ exhibition at KFL Pop-up Gallery, the last two as part of Oxfordshire Artweeks 2019 and all based in Oxford. I am showing my wall at the OFS on the right-hand side on this page. Some impressions of building our very own pop-up gallery KFL and of the ‘Spice of Life’ exhibition will follow soon.

Three more exhibitions are already scheduled for this year and the next year is beginning to take shape as well. In addition to showing their artworks, several members of the LiterArties have a mission to share their enthusiasm and skills through workshops and talks which are held on the premises of the exhibitions. You can find more information about the exhibitions here or on www.literarties.com.

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Oxfordshire Artweeks 2018

What I re-discovered preparing for the Artweeks solo exhibition again is that it is hard and takes a long time and quite some patience – the latter not being one of my strong traits. What my better half re-discovered was that my murder was still not worth it, and that she would help me again despite all the blocks I put in the way, mainly me. She arranged the display of the paintings and she did better than I could have done it.

So there I was sat behind the desk with the postcards and the greeting cards and the books, just like last year, waiting for people to arrive and be surprised – as they always say - by the variety of paintings and styles that our ‘Tardis’ holds. The coffees, teas and juices ready, and some wine for the late afternoon arrivers.

And yet again, in this slightly remote hamlet, people came, especially during the Bank Holiday weekend which bathed in glorious weather for once.

Throughout the year I had continued to explore and develop the new styles and themes I had started to show last year.

The pollution theme, with ‘China Rising’, ‘Pollution’ and ‘Envy’. Depictions of cities where the lights dazzle but the sky can barely be seen, where a whole country can be imagined through the window of a restaurant and the markings of which may spell the words China Rising, and then there is ‘Envy’, for all those who have, and who have not, and want.

I still love to paint nudes and figures, like the woman taking a ‘Moment to Myself’, and ‘Let’s Dance’ where the frantic athleticism of the dancers blurs their bodies so one may not be able to recognise which part belonged to whom.

There was a section of, let’s say, horticulture, ‘The Gathering’ of lilies very much in line of a ball being staged with all the human players, and the abstract section keeps growing. Most recently I have started to work with mixed media, ‘drawing’ with oil and charcoals and am pleasantly surprised about the effect.

And yet again, I find myself engaged with the people who visited, their thoughts and perspectives.

Thank you for coming, and if you like, enjoy some gallery impressions of this year in the following snapshots.

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Oxfordshire Artweeks 2017

This year we decided to hold the first ever solo show of my artworks during the Oxfordshire Artweeks. It was hard work, it took a long time to put up, but it was extremely gratifying to talk with you all, discuss the stories behind the paintings, get your thoughts and interpretations on them and find out which of them were your favourites.

We were a little worried that nobody would find us and the morning of the first day until about 2 o’clock nobody came and we decided lunch was in order. I had rigged up a bell at the gate for when the garden was closed, so that we were in no danger of missing anyone. However, as we returned to the house, and just before the sandwiches were about to be cut, there was the most delicate ringtone which we had never heard before. We ran down the garden, and from then on there was what seemed an endless and pleasant stream of people and groups that came until 7 o’clock.

Then the first sale happened for this year, and surprised me with it being one of my all-time favourites that I had painted a long time ago and which had graced my home walls since. Surprising because I missed ‘Village Dusk’ when it was gone. Surprising because I didn’t realise how attached to these works I am. But for the artist in me, gratifying to know it will grace someone else’s wall who obviously fell in love with it and brought in less than ten minutes.

Altogether and despite the slightly temperamental British weather it was in many ways a very rewarding experience and we decided to brave the exhibition again next year.

Thank you all for visiting.

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