Samanta Bissoondyal-Ramguttee, an educator, a social observer and art critic is a born artist. She has taken the world by storm through her unique pieces of paintings. Her desire is to use her artistic skills as a means to showcase the different histories associated with Mauritius.
Her paintings will capture your attention immediately. She has been participating in different exhibitions showcasing her talent through her masterpieces. Currently, she is conducting some research pertaining to a new body of work in line with several group shows organised through the International Watercolor Society. She is also looking forward to participating in more collaborative shows to gain additional experience, meet other artists and share common encounters. She believes that surrounding herself with inspiration and projects will allow her to improve on the foundations already set.
She reveals that her first real encounter with painting happened unintentionally after choosing an elective art class in high school. “What initially was a solution to a problem, gradually became a passion. I soon realized that art would remain the pillar for my balance. Art has the capacity to fuel passion, while staying connected with culture, history, development and people. Communicating in a visual language allows me to share my points of view when seen from the perspective of my subjects.”
As an educator, social observer and art critic, her research takes her beyond the borders of language, religions and traditions. “My career path and journey as an artist is influenced by the foundations of my studies. It is through my constant curiosity that I am able to define the way I communicate visually today.”
The artist is particularly interested in documenting the spontaneous nativity in emotions. “When I paint, I look forward to capturing intimate encounters like a spark in someone’s eyes, a smile, or a particular environment. I am influenced by the traditional practices of agricultural farming, fishing and commerce that still remain present in Mauritius today.”
Additionally, she is an active member of the International Watercolor Society in Mauritius. “We are a dynamic group that regularly meet to paint at outdoor locations around Mauritius. Artists are encouraged to join and learn techniques in a social and creative environment.”
Contribution in art
From an educational perspective, she has tried to contribute as much art as she can to her students. The source of her involvement, in Visual Arts today, has stemmed from her experiences as a child. “Teaching has allowed me the possibility to pass this opportunity onto others in a very gratifying way. I am fortunate enough to have surrounded myself with mentors such as Mr Choytoo, Art Teacher, Pascal Soufflet, Director of Ilha do Cime Art Gallery and David Lagesse, Director and art facilitator at Art Lab, who have each contributed to shape my skills and knowledge so as to prepare me for the art industry.”
Moreover, she states that bringing innovation into her art practice would definitely involve some form of environmental connection. “Although the canvas remains essential for me to communicate to an audience, I am also drawn towards creative recycling ideas and how we can enrich our lives through eco living. The symbiosis of both would certainly push me to further my creative thinking.”
Concerning the appreciation of art, she avers that there is always room for improvement in any industry, however, more work can still be done to expose traditional art to the wider public. “Street artists and festivals have certainly played an important role within the art culture, especially attracting more young people to get involved with creative projects. There seems to be a growing number of private and social art groups, more so than previous years and this will certainly help in the education process of art appreciation.”
The challenges are as equally important as the victories. Like most artists, she tends to grow the most when she finds herself in the in-between phase of being up and down. “Managing this requires me to remain consistent and committed, knowing very well that the difficulties are always present when we persevere with our passion.”
Dreams and future projects
She hopes that with time, her creative journey will continue to spread a positive attitude towards life. “Through the lens of my paintings, I would like to communicate a story of Mauritius using metaphorical characters and environments that we can all relate to. What lies ahead remains uncertain for the long term, although I do look forward to starting new adventures one step at a time.”
Samantha is a graduate from the University of Mauritius with an MBA, majoring in Human Resource Management in addition to her Fine Arts degree. She had spent some time in an advertising industry, which was pivotal in the decision to re-position her focus towards art education.
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