Tuesday 21 December 2010

Anu Raina

Anu Raina Collection - Fashion Show – Sept 2010

Q So who is Anu Raina?
I am an emerging Textiles Artist / Designer.

Q Where in the world are you?
I am based in Toronto, Canada.

Fall 2010 Fall 2010 - Screen Print Fabric
Q When did you decide to become a maker?
Having moved to Canada in July 2004, and with the arrival of my second child in 2005, I took a break from my career to take care of my kids. In July 2008 I happened to visit the Crafts and Design wing at Sheridan College. I was completely blown away by the creativity and the talent of the graduates. I felt challenged and knew it was my calling. I enrolled in the Textile design program right away. It’s a 3 year intensive program. I got an advance standing for the first year and graduated in June 2010 with High Honours and a Top medal.
Silk screened scarves Silk Screen Print Scarf
Q What made you choose the materials that you work with?
My work is mostly Textile based but not completely restricted to them. For me it’s more about expressing my inner self, medium just becomes a tool to achieve this goal. But Textiles do work like a blank canvas for me where I can go crazy creating different textures with free hand drawing and many other printing techniques that I learnt at Sheridan. The beauty of Textiles is that you can cut, sew, manipulate it and actually wear your own art work.

Burnt holes dress Burnt Holes Silk Dress
Holes burnt in Silk Burnt Holes Detail
Q What other materials would you like to work in?
I do like to work with discarded materials. One of my recent Autobiographical pieces titled “Chapter 2, Page 1” was made with discarded embroidery punch cards and fishing line.

Chapter2, Page1Chapter 2, Page 1 – Mixed Media
Q Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspired by anything / everything around me but mostly by my own journeys in life.
Q What motivates you?
A strong urge to transform my emotions into a visual language.
Q Do you create your work in a studio base or a home base?
My work is mostly studio based. After graduating from Sheridan, I got lucky to be selected as an artist in residence at the prestigious Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. It’s a very inspiring place and I get to share the studio with incredibly talented people.
Working in Studio Anu Screen Printing at her Harbourfront Studio
Q Crafts in the 21st Century – what does this mean to you?
Craft to me is art perceived by heart and conceived by hands. I believe it is not bound by time. It’s a timeless endeavour. Ingenious handcrafted objects have been unearthed by archaeologists from the prehistoric times.

How do you sell and promote your work?
As I have just started, I primarily promote and sell my work via my website and a few boutique stores in Toronto. You can see my work on my website / Blog ( I share my inspirations and concepts on my blog)

Hand dyed,Silk screened Scarves Hand Dyed, Silk Screen Print Scarf
Q What is your typical working day look like?
There is no typical working day for me as I don’t have a 9-5 job. Making art is fun and I love to have fun any time of the day.

Q What is your working style?
My working style is very abrupt and impulsive. If I don’t feel inspired I don’t work for days but when something inspires me, it just consumes me completely. My work tends to be complex, layered and sometimes obsessive. For example I recently made a piece of wearable art (a jacket in the shape of a stealth bomber) with over 10,000 staples and actually ended up spraining my wrist.
Stapled series Stapled Series - (jacket, shoulder bag and back pack bag)
Stapled JacketStapled Jacket – part of the Stapled Series
Q 3 words of advice for an aspiring Craft artist/maker...
Passion / Perseverance / Faith
Q Who is/are your favourite artist(s)/maker(s)?
There are different things I admire about different Artists / Designers. I love Canadian Fibre artist Dorothy Caldwell’s work. There’s something very spiritual about it. I love the lightness and beauty of Virginia Johnson’s prints. I wish I could inject some of it in my own work which tends to be on a heavier side. I love the weaving techniques of Caitlin Earskin Smith. I am inspired by the dedication of Arounna Khnnouraj to her craft. (she is a mother of two kids as well) I feel spell bound by Ray Materson’s work and admire his courage totally love the inventive approach of Canadian artist / designer Denis Gagnon.
Staples Detail Staples – Detail
Q What music do you listen to?
I love listening to Alanis Morissette, Joan Osborne, James Blunt, AR Rahman, Krishna Das and Rasa by Kim Waters.
Q 3 likes and dislikes?
I love simple hearted people, hot soups and my family. I abhor slugs and Potato bugs, falling sick and missing a bus.
Q What do you do to relax?
I cook for my family, surprisingly it works like a complete stress buster for me.

Clothing Show Sept 2010
Clothing Show –Sept 2010


Gary said...

Wonderful interview and what nice designs!

Tash Goswami said...

Thank you Gary - I really like Anu's work too.