I am very fortunate to have Roberto Lopardo, who was the Dean of Faculty at the American University of Dubai, as my mentor. His experience extends from being a professional artist to curating the Cuadro gallery in Dubai. Our first meeting was on February 23rd, where he had a chance to look at the work that I had applied with to AIB.
We discussed the work and he had some reservations about it having certain associations, like the Mandalas with digital art and psychedelic art, for example. He was also ambivalent about the (very brief) film sequence he watched as he interpreted one of my characters, Persephone, to be a girl in a “nightie”. He warned me about perpetuating female stereotypes on screen. More than anything, he wanted me to take real risks with my work and steer me away from being precious about it or attempting work that was “perfect”. He suggested that I rip my paintings up and stitch the canvas together, perhaps adding hair, nails, beeswax and varnish to create a “fetishistic Frankenstein”. Roberto wanted me to explore layering further, since it was an important element in my art, and asked me to have a more systematic approach to judging the success of my work.
Roberto kindly proposed that I have a mini exhibition, before June 14th, and have a critique session with other artists/professors. He also said that there might be a chance of me having a short lecture at AUD. I am truly grateful for this possible opportunity even though I know there’s a lot to be done.
I am putting my film on hold for a while, as I need to do more research on feminist theory, namely writings by Mulvey, as my advisor Sunanda suggested. I have also ordered a book called ‘Jung: A Feminist Review’ by Susan Rowland, which I hope will help me resolve some of the issues that I am facing with the theme of archetypes. I am also looking into the work of Louise Bourgeois and hope to do my next essay on her and Marlene Dumas.