MUMTAZ Pandora Project is Mumtaz Persaud's third solo exhibition and will feature some 56 pieces of oil and acrylic on canvas. Persaud describes the project as "an exploration of the path of awakening to enlightenment and the embodiment of images, emotions and sensations evoked in the field between the two."
“I seek to expose the love mystery and charisma of the modern Pandora with her unbreakable devotion to being an ambassador of peace and stretch the boundaries of hope,” she said.
“My work is mainly cubist, abstract and figurative. I believe these are best able to translate my captivation with the soul's journey through the illusions of life. My use of vibrant colour stimulates enthusiasm and energy and promotes a verve for living and loving without limitations.”
Persaud grew up in a large extended family in Maraval and is the last of six children. She said though she always had a love and appreciation of art throughout her life, she unfortunately took the path of accounting upon leaving school and carried out that role until the birth of her second and third children, at which point she decided to devote her full time to her growing family.
Describing her journey as an artist she said: “Life is a carnival, but you don’t brag about the roller coaster while you are riding it. You just hold on for dear life and hope that when you get off, the story will be worth telling.
“It was only when I became pregnant with my fourth child that I felt a deep desire to translate the many emotions I have been discovering throughout my life’s journey because there were so many things about my own life, emotions and experiences I needed to share and preserve. Art was the vehicle I chose.
“Had I taken up art as a career at an early age I would have been producing meaningless images dictated to me by external influences. What I produce now are images brought to me by meditation and dreams, images influenced by my journey through life up to this point.”
Persaud said her work now is the foundation that drives her to inspire her children to lean into their fears and challenge their dreams to become bigger than their surroundings and available resources.
To her, her most memorable experience with art came when a collector once purchased a piece and told her she (the collector) had not yet acquired a place to hang it, though she somehow felt that the energy behind the piece will help her manifest her dreams. “A month later she called to say she purchased a house and ordered three more paintings. I love that my work can become tools of inspiration to others.”
Persaud is very proud of how she has progressed as an artist in the past eight years, and feels this exhibition is the best yet of all the work she has produced.
She is hoping to do a short residency programme, though she’s undecided about location, but her long-term goal is to move her studio out of her home so that her work is easily accessible to the general public.
“I also wish to create an environment where other artists have a forum to display their work as well as provide spaces for art classes and events.”
Persaud’s exhibition begins May 4 at 101 Art Gallery Woodford Street, Newtown, and continues May 5 from 10 am-2 pm, and 12 pm-6 pm (Monday to Thursday). The exhibition ends on May 9.