Svabhu Kohli illustrates nature in a way that is both direct and fantastical, producing truly gorgeous vignettes of the night sky, the forest, the ocean, purple jellyfish, whales and other creatures from the deep – each accentuating the beauty and magic of the wilderness.
In this candid conversation, he tells us about his background and artistic influences.
Tell us a bit about your background. Are you from an artistic family?
I am a visual artist and enjoy working with film, illustration and experiential Installations. Most of the work I create comes from my love for nature.
And yes, I do come from an artistic family. My mother is an artist who translates her thoughts into paintings, installations, performances and sculptures and my sister is a photographer.
Your artwork feels like little portals to a world between landscape and imagination. Are there references to fairytales and other stories that used to captivate you in childhood in your work?
Not just my childhood, but even till today I’m inspired by the stories and myths that connect us to our world. The spaces I create are reflections and love of the experiences I’ve shared in the wilderness.
Clearly you’re a storyteller. What particular emotion do you want your viewers to feel on seeing your work? Are there any questions you want them to ask themselves?
I hope to evoke the sense of wonder I feel when I’m in a natural habitat and raise awareness about all the life forms that surround us. Its unfortunate to see the constant environmental damage our lifestyles have caused and the loss we’re seeing in our habitats and its species.
Which of your works is your personal favourite and why?
I created an experiential installation film that involved performance and projection mapping for my Diploma Project. It was a challenging experience and I learnt a lot from working on various mediums together while shooting in heavy rainfall at the Western Ghats.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on a series of art and conservation related projects around our little village in Goa Velha.
At a time when modern society becomes increasingly disconnected from the natural world, it seems especially pertinent to kindle an appreciation and awe for nature, and Svabhu’s art accomplishes this effortlessly. To check out more of his work, visit his Behance page or follow him on Instagram.
Interview by Carol Edwin
Featured image source: Svabhu Kohli