With her first successful solo exhibition in 2015, Dillai Joseph can be called a self-taught artist before the paint stand, who’s undoubtedly gifted with a rather unique talent and eye to produce creative and inimitable pieces of artwork.
She, who later enhanced her skills under the tutelage of Nadine David, is now on her way towards hosting her second solo exhibition, Soulscapes which will be held from 5 – 7 October 2018 at the Lionel Wendt.
In light of this, we sat down with her recently to talk about her mesmerising and unique creations.
Q: Was drawing a talent you cultivated since childhood?
A: Well I didn’t start art at a very young age. It was more like a hobby to me. I liked it, and I happen to like anything that’s got to do with creativity. However, I did a lot of singing, to the point where it was quite a serious thing. Whenever school hosted aesthetic events, I’d take part, especially, if it had anything to do with singing and drawing. But it was only when I was around 19 that I took to serious art.
It was because before the age of 19, art was just a period, and we didn’t have anything much beyond that. Although, now I believe schools offer more opportunities.
Q: How would you say you transcended to drawing?
A: What happened was, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do after my A Levels and it was then that I thought of pursuing Communication Design which is enclosed within the communication sphere, which I also felt had a better scope in terms of job opportunities. I then turned towards marketing, where I pursued advertising later on.
It was during this span of time that I went on to embark upon filling the roles of Art Director and Creative Director at some of the leading and renowned advertising firms in the country. Currently I’m the Founder of my own niche creative Adshop called The Next Big Think.
I have got myself involved in advertising for the past 15 years up until now, and I run The Next Big Think which I started with my partner Megan. She and I started running it together four years ago.
Q: Turning towards your artwork, what mediums do you resort to when creating your pieces?
A: The main mediums I use are acrylic on canvas, including dry pastels, charcoal, and sometimes oils.
Q: What sort of forms would you purport to encapsulate the most through your artwork?
A: I love drawing trees, including the barks and various forms of textures. I also like to look at the human figure especially the female form because I feel like that’s quite an interesting area to explore.
Q: Your work seems to evince a rather ethereal and contemporary sense of style that’s unique. What style would you say your artwork is ideally confined to?
A: My style, I would say, is a mix. Because I take contemporary topics, but I still have a classical touch to it. It’s not pure abstract and there is a certain element that’s classical in nature in my work.
I derive inspiration from the old masters, the artists from the renaissance and the impressionist era.
Q: Speaking of avenues and forums, what are your thoughts on Soulscapes that’s going to be held in October?
A: So this is my second solo exhibition, although I’ve taken part in a number of group exhibitions since my first solo in 2015. I displayed some of my pieces at The Galle Literary Festival, The Art Trail alongside a few group exhibitions with other artists as well.
As per Soulscapes, I concentrate a lot on the female form. It’s a reflection of dormant daydreams and it takes you to another plane where you explore the apprehension of a woman – whether it’s through the outward appearance or an internal sense of feeling.
Whilst an exclusive preview is set to take place on 5 October, 2018, the event will be open for public viewing on 6 and 7 at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery.
By Chenelle Fernando