© 2019 by Tara Gupta.

About

Artist Statement

TARA GUPTA

 

My artistic practice is both thematically intersectional, and materially free. I claim that my work is thematically intersectional because my primary focus is on harmonious systems; a healthy human body, an abundant and productive ecosystem, or a collective emotional consciousness; and these systems require addressing multiple elements simultaneously. In continuing with the motivation of self-sustaining and harmonious systems, I create projects that are self-sustaining and independent of each other as well, each distinct in the medium I choose to work in, whether a musical composition, or a business model, or a series of paintings.

 

I developed a strong systems-thinking lens through formative experiences in my childhood. As a 1.5 generation Indian-American, my understanding of the world was influenced by the lenses borrowed from my parents, one who had grown up in India, confronting stark socio-economic disparities and borrowing from a deep cultural history, and the other who had grown up in Ohio, facing isolation from a colorist society and finding identity through entrepreneurship. My work reflects these themes today, often inspired by the spiritual teachings of Indian mysticism, meditation, and healing, and carried by the practical mediums of entrepreneurship to exist in capitalist America. 

 

At age 14, I developed a chronic illness that left me fatigued and in pain for years before it was brought under control. I live with this experience, and the chance of new symptoms emerging, and have become much more aware of my body and the fragility of the systems we operate in as a result. While at RISD, I began introducing solutions for healing emotional and physical pain in my work, first for the individual body, and later on for the body of earth. Some of these expressions were more reflective, such as the animated short Lucy, 2018, which follows an imagined conversation mother earth tells to her child, humanity, personified in the film as the character Lucy. Others were more active, solutions-oriented, and collaborative, such as the Providence-based youtube reality T.V. series, 100 Days to 0 Waste, 2018.

 

While taking classes focused on Sustainability Studies, I expanded my understanding of systems to urbanism, understanding how cities could be a medium to work with as well. This idea eventually grew into the entrepreneurial effort to redevelop aging buildings into sustainable spaces, ANAMAKOS. This project was named for Anna Maya Kosha, part of a yogic teaching that there are five bodies, the first of which is the physical, the Anna Maya Kosha, and that we must have a strong base in this body in order to access abundance in the other bodies. Under this name, I purchased a triplex in Providence, conducting experiments in co-living, zero waste living, and sustainable redevelopment on the house while managing it.

 

Recently, I returned to the Washington D.C. metro area, and have seemed to come full circle in a return to painting, the medium I began my practice with in childhood, and in experiments with musical compositions, which also draws on my childhood experience, from lessons and performances with Piano, chorus, and violin. After a recent flare of my illness, I have reaffirmed my artistic purpose in healing through my work, creating harmony in systems of the body and earth through movement, emotional understanding, and sustainable transition design.