Lene Makwana

Construction 43, 2021

77 × 116 cm
My art explores the diversity of self, created from my living between three very different cultures; I am Norwegian, and I live in Australia with my Indian husband. I have encountered differences and similarities between the three cultures, and I’m inspired by how my sense of self has grown or been challenged being a part of them. The “Construction” series will be completed upon finishing 100 pieces and started in 2015. I discovered that non-figurative elements gave me more freedom to wider explore my compositions and subject matter than what figurative elements did. I set out on the journey of the “Construction” series at a time in my life that I struggled to find my place in the world a few years after moving to a new country, and when I experienced anxiety in approaching the human figure in my work, in fear of not “getting it right”. It had been nearly a year since my last painting and inspired by Takahiro Kimura’s “1,000 Broken Faces” I set out to document and somewhat organise my multicultural journey. My pivot from figurative to non-figurative imagery also meant that I had to let go of my own perception of myself as an artist. Through my education I’d focused on the female figure and portraits as my subject matter, and my need to let go of this to be able to keep creating art was challenging but ultimately the only way for me to achieve artistic freedom. My work with diptychs is significant to my practice as it addresses the falling “in between” various cultures. While most diptychs are mirrored and symmetric, they are never identical to its opposite. With these compositions I convey my own search for balance and order.
My Scandinavian background has impacted my work in terms of balanced and clean compositions, and limited colour palettes.
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