New Arrivals Current Exhibition Previous Events

Antonio E'costa

Antonio E'costa - b. 1942. The nexus of my life - and, necessarily, my work - has been the encouragement of dialogue and creative exchanges between different cultures. Of Indian origin, brought up in Africa, being trained in Canada in Fine Arts, Urban Design and Environmental Studies, I have travelled all my life, painting in different geographies and cultural situations. Hopefully, the images of my work reflect a sensibility that translates across boundaries, mirroring the meaningful exchanges I have had with the peoples and artists in Africa, Canada, India, Morocco, Spain, Mexico and Brazil. Based in my studio in Goa, India, since 1997, I have enjoyed the personal space to steadily create a volume of work that has been enriched by regular working trips abroad, to Canada and Africa. on my part. Side by side with painting and drawing, I work on mixed media " architectural designs" , highlighting the importance of the drawing line in sculptural forms. My focus is on the interaction and diversities that have formed - and informed - my creative evolution : Africa, Canada and India. Its purpose will be to demonstrate the richness's and the contradictions inherent in globalization, with the cross-pollination that implies. My art is increasingly becoming a spiritual experience; a particular form of seeing that illuminates found objects and landscapes with a personal light. I began my painting career using the vastness of the Canadian landscape as a primary resource, drawing from its contours, shades and architectonic elements to formulate abstract geometrical formations. From this particular connection with nature, I drew out obscurely significant symbols : cloud-like forms, tree-like structures, serpentine-like movements imitated in brush markings. Over time, I began to explore further afield - painting in different countries, I automatically worked with found materials : local paper, tools and cloth; incorporating varied cultural elements so as to build up significantly textured and evocative surfaces. For example, in each of the series I created in Mexico, Brazil and Spain ( 1987-1997 ), the works echo the cultural ethos of that particular geography, with tones of earth and sky married to symbols that, to me, spoke of the spirit of the place. Increasingly, I began to rely on - and to create - my own interior space to be able to translate into my work a type of awareness not apparent in formalized education, so that it reflected, so to speak, "the presence of absence ". This search for a deeper emotion became the prime motivation behind my exploration of painterly imagery, and resulted in a crucial step in my evolution, producing works such as the "Contemplative Landscape" series in 2003 and the "Buddha'' series in 2005. Landscapes took on new meanings : in Ladakh I discovered a new quality of emptiness and light. The textured surfaces hopefully conveyed microcosmic spaces whose formulation can be seen as organisms in a continual process of flux. My present work concentrates on using an untutored form of visual writing and mark making that distill my technical skills through the filter of my geographical wanderings, to produce an alternative form of seeing that bears the stamp of my personal integrity. This process of "otherness'' is difficult to articulate, but is unmistakably present in my work. India has recently become a major player in the international art market. The natural advantages of having a foot in three countries ( Africa, Canada and India ) as well as my increasing interaction with both Indian artists and the multicultural artistic community in Canada and Africa place me in an unique position to contribute positively-and significantly- to cultural diversity and universality.