“A cocktail of William Morris, Mackintosh and Rousseau in an English meadow, with a splash of Klimt and a squeeze of Jungle book.”
Coming from a family of professional artists, Shyama grew up in the world of fine art, first exhibiting her work at the age of seven in London.
The family lived in the heart of the Sussex countryside and the soft rolling hills of the South Downs along with the textures of nature and a passion for pattern influenced her decision to study textiles design at Eastbourne Art College specialising in print and surface pattern.
She continued her career as a design assistant and co-ordinator of a fashion business before becoming a freelance textile designer working for a wide range of companies including Sandersons, Oasis, Selfridges and Hennes.
Later she was invited to be a lecturer at the London College Of Fashion and Northbrook Art College.
“I have a childhood memory of lying in the long grasses of the fields near our house in the Sussex countryside.
A retreat from the hot summer sun submerged and tickled in the coolness of the lush new growth which was alive with the sound of busy insects and full of colour from wild flowers.
Cocooned from the wider expanse of the countryside into a more concentrated intimate magical world.
Its this feeling that I recapture when Im painting, getting lost in amongst the tangled stems that reach upwards towards the bright sky.
The resulting paintings are a highly decorative and patterned exploration with a semi abstract edge. Made using layers of patterned areas, overpainted and abstracted with colours, textures and line. Leaving glimpses of the areas underneath partially showing, peeping through the undergrowth.
In my garden studio, I work on several pieces at a time. I use a mixture of acrylic, oils, inks, charcoal and collage. It’s a marriage of these elements that dictate the feel of the picture as it emerges.
With the garden as a constant form of reference and inspiration. It’s my own little urban jungle, a mixture of Banana plants and Tree ferns jostling for space next to Daises, St Johns Wort, Rhubarb, Palms,Yuccas and a huge Fatsia Japonica ( Castor oil plant ). From tall and tropical too small and delicate all intertwined along together in true jungle fashion.
I’m also intrigued by the architectural shapes of cacti and desert flora . The shapes are varied with every colour in the chart, these desert plants are a joy to examine. They are dry and prickly but at the same time lush and flush with bright blooms and pattern. I Interpret them with rich bold oil pastels and inks to define.
They sit along side the more English delicate studies of Honesty, Poppy seed heads and Cow parsley silhouettes. The common denominator being their structure and form.Opposites united with their anatomy and construction.Their almost abstract shapes creating positive and negatives.
Pattern is a constant for me its the connection with all of my work. Its like following a track or a trail. It’s an inclusive thread through nature from the exquisite and delicate markings on butterfly wings and insects to all forms of botanicals with their infinite variations.”