Always Create – Culture City :: SRQ Magazine article by Dylan Campbell

Brigitta Sultana finds a new direction in her latest gallery opening, Emerge.

Artist Brigitta Sultana, photography by Wes Roberts.

For Brigitta Wagner Sultana, painting is not a profession. It’s not a habit, make it or break it, or an occupation, but rather a part of who she is. Like being a mother or a wife, painting and artistic creation are part of her daily life, a role just as natural as the other two. It’s a calling that has followed her for years, from her college days to working in television in New York and graphic design in Florida to now, in her full-time role as a mother of two. “I never stopped painting after I graduated from college. I always did it as a creative outlet, other than what I was doing in graphic design,” says Sultana. never stop.”

WORK BY BRIGITTA SULTANA. PHOTOGRAPH BY WES ROBERTS.

It was this attitude that led to Sultana’s latest exhibition, Emerge, opening Oct. 7 at Mara Art Studio and Gallery, her first gallery opening since 2010. way, you never stop creating,” Sultana says. While her previously featured work featured collages, her work in Emerge has taken a new direction, one that fully permeates family and art. “Before, I was just creating what I wanted at the time. There was no specific subject, “says Sultana. “Now I feel like I have a specific subject that I work on and a methodology to work on it – it just took me this long to figure it out.”

Artwork by Brigitta Sultana.  Photograph by Wes Roberts.

WORK BY BRIGITTA SULTANA. PHOTOGRAPH BY WES ROBERTS.

Sultana will show paintings of her Rocks and salt pans series, respectively. This new work focuses on the geometric angles of the landscapes. Take the salt dish series for example, which draws its inspiration from the salt marshes that line the coast of Gozo, Malta. Sultana, whose husband is from Malta, visited the area on a family trip. “The graphic part of me was drawn to the angles and the depth perception of these very geometric salt flats. Even though I don’t really do graphic design anymore, I still have my eye on it and I can’t seem to m ‘get rid of it – it’s evident through my work,’ Sultana explains. salt pans series, Sultana creates creative interpretations of the geometric landscapes of these already somewhat surreal salt flats. His paintings are not abstract, but not exact either, falling somewhere between the two styles, stemming from his own photography and imagination. Although all are acrylic on canvas, their color, tone and style vary widely: some use soft brushstrokes to create lighter shades of color that shimmer between the rectangular boundaries of the salt pans while others create harder, more abstract layers that stack amongst each other. However, all derive from a common source – his photograph. “One of my thesis projects for my last show in college included constructed landscapes which consisted of a series of objects that I manipulated to look like landscapes. I feel like salt pans had the same feel to them – although they look very natural in terms of how close they are to water and etched into the limestone, there is also this geometric and man-made element to it. It’s built, but it’s also a natural phenomenon,” says Sultana.

In both salt pans and Rocks series, Sultana works from a series of images she takes herself, sometimes transferring the image to canvas as a model or simply using it as a muse. “The Rocks The series was inspired because my children and their cousins ​​were building a wall and having fun with these stones on a sandy beach. I just started photographing them and then the series got started a bit by accident. I just shot all the different rock layers and that’s how it went,” Sultana explains. ” Both salt pans and Rocks series have emerged from these experiences and are somehow intertwined. While for the paintings featured in Emerge, Sultana’s process begins with photography, it is not entirely photography-based. For example, not all paintings are based on image transfer – its process is more organic, sometimes taking days, weeks, or even months to complete a painting. Maybe it’s because in the middle of her painting is her life, the balance between a devoted mother and an artist.

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