Featured Artist : Laxmi Hussain

On her work’s past, present and future 

Past

I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember…one of my earliest memories being recognised for my art was when I won a prize for a Christmas card design where they loved how innovative my design was.
I’d used a sheet of the mathematics paper, the ones which have grids of shapes (this one was triangles) and created a reindeer and star out of triangles – I was invited to City Hall in the middle of Victoria to be awarded – quite cute looking back on it.
I can’t remember not ever being creative, when I was younger I would paint elaborate birthday cards for friends in watercolour, making handmade envelopes. I’d also often paint small canvases for friends and family as birthday gifts.
Growing up though I always thought I was going to be a…..surgeon – Lets just say my dreams were crushed one day as a young girl by surgeon who took a look at my hands and told me I didn’t possess a surgeon’s hands! Imagine that….
Whilst I always had an academic head, I never stopped pursuing my creative endeavours, looking back on it, my passions shone brightly through in my art.
I excelled in sciences and maths but I was also amongst 3 students to have the largest allocated art space at the end of year shows in both textiles and fine art.
Crushed I wasn’t meant for surgery, I chose to study architecture. My parents always encouraged us to pursue academic paths so Architecture seemed to be the perfect balance.
Whilst I loved studying the subject there were always constraints and being an artist provides a freedom like no other – so long story short, I graduated and then decided I was going to get a job until I decided what I wanted to really pursue.
I’d not really drawn in the years after graduating and between having Zain I did what many young graduates do, travelled a bit, went out drinking a lot, fell in and out of love, or lust.
When I found out I was pregnant with Zain, a lot of that changed, I calmed, slowed down, enjoyed a new life and when he arrived….something else entirely!

Nothing can quite prepare you for the whirlwind of love and fatigue and worry and overwhelming emotions that sweep you up and change your very bones.

Whilst my work today doesn’t directly show many connections to motherhood, every stroke, every line, every ink blot is only because of motherhood.
It is because of Zain I started drawing again, to do something with him and also to show him there was more to me and now that inspires me to keep showing both my kids that you can be whoever you want to be.

Present

 

Personally, a lot of exploration.
I want to stop making art for art’s sake.
I need it to have a personal journey of exploration, I started with my warped idea of the perfect body and have begun a journey of self discovery and acceptance.
Sharing these drawings have helped me to understand that the perfect body does not exist and is starting to change my perception of myself, the most endearing thing is that others have wanted to dip in to this, shared my drawings, interpret them in their own way….
I’ve also had the opportunity to be approached by a few brands, old clients, and new clients asking me to work on their branding.
Whilst I’ve worked in branding and curation for some years, I’ve never really thought of this as a talent, more a skill, but practicing skills that you are good at can be so rewarding.

Future

I’m coming to a halt on the exploration of my own body and I think I want to understand bodies in a different way.
What do I not appreciate that I should?
What do we refuse to acknowledge?
If I re-engage with my inner woman, can I educate others on real world issues which are harder to address?
Three years ago I was asked to contribute to RoadFemme, a Zine a friend of mine started covering all walks of women’s issues from a humanitarian aspect.
I for some reason had stumbled across a documentary on female genital mutilation and decided I somehow had to contribute a piece on this topic, my drawing was of a young girl lying down, tear in her eye, with the words above her ‘Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.’
I have this idea in my head, that I can somehow connect our own feelings about the things we do not talk about to appreciate these things in a new way and maybe then, we might be on our way to helping address some of these issues…
To see more of Laxmi’s work visit www.thislakshmi.com
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