ANVI, MID LIGHT PRODUCTIONS
I am Bangalore born and bred, and now London based. Currently I am working on an exceptional talent endorsement by Arts Council England and I am represented by Nic Knight Management. I come from a family of artists, poets and scholars (Srinivasa Prabhu – veteran actor and director in Kannada theatre, T.V and film; and Ranjini Prabhu, renowned Kannada poetess. My younger brother is also now a vocalist and guitarist in two different rock bands and a DJ).
Since I can remember, I have always been exposed to the arts, it was a way of living and growing up. My earliest memories are watching late night show rehearsals at Ravindra Kalakshetra and scribbling away in one of the numerous drawing books I had taken along.
I started my journey as an artist, as a classical Bharatanatyam dancer, which took me travelling and performing as a soloist extensively across India, China, USA, UK and Bhutan; My most recent performances after moving to UK includes choreographing and performing at the UK House of Lords for the India – UK year of culture, World travel Market, and Ashford festival.
Along the way I gained a BA in Fine Arts specialising in painting from Chitrakala Parishat, Bangalore, and subsequently an MA in Fine Arts from Chelsea college (London, UK). This passion for visual articulation through paintings and mixed media installations gave me an opportunity to attend numerous artist residencies and exhibit my work at several galleries and Universities at UK and USA including Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Art Students’ League of New York, and INCA (International Network for Culture and Arts) at Somerset, England. This also laid the ground for my ideas of an independent film company. (www.artbyanvi.wordpress.com)
As for writing, I’ve been obsessed with the syncopation of words since I can remember, and I have so far published two collections of poetry and experimental narratives (‘Snatches of Sunshine’ and ‘Mid Light – the Prologue’ as well as numerous online articles, and read my work at several poetry events in London. My forthcoming book ‘UNSUPERVISED – Global narratives through a feministic perspective’ was launched on Amazon worldwide on the 3 of June.
I have always been thirsty to stretch the boundaries of artistic creation – both technically and conceptually. As a visual artist, especially, I believed that film was the one medium that was a culmination of all – movement, visual, poetry, art, theatrics, and what else you may. Growing up I had no dearth of opportunities to explore the fields of television and film and I also acted in several of them as a child artist and a teen. However it was during my MA studies where I delved into video art that I decided it was time to take my various fields of practice into one coherent language. Thus the idea for ‘MID LIGHT PRODUCTIONS – Soul Stories’ was born, and the company officially launched on 21 of October 2017 on my father’s birthday as a gift for him.
It is absolutely exhilarating to be an artist. More than anything, it is the power of creating that excites me beyond measure. Having been in different fields since a child, the journey has been incredible. The difference in starting a company is that it is no longer just one person’s work – it is team effort and collaboration which is a brand new territory. The first 6 months have been amazing and the company has had the privilege to work with some fantastic artists. Visual storytelling of course throws in its own set of unique challenges and I hope to bring in my aesthetics as a dancer and poet into it and create very original, powerful stuff.
My main inspiration is my family – as humans and as artists. They are the perfect combination of strong and sensitive, power and grace. If I am able to live the life I live today, it is because of them. Apart from that, I find immense inspiration in the sounds of violin, the enigma of oceans and seas, the fascinating territory of language and words and and the grandiose simplicity of nature.
The challenges you face as an artist differ in different places and different fields. In India, as a dancer I witnessed favouritism and unsupportiveness. I didn’t find the system to be based on a strong, honest network. One particular critic refused to even mention my name in her review of a festival because I had forgotten to greet her. At another festival, my music was stopped midway during my performance on stage and my mum was shouted at because of some confusion on the part of the organisers. The way I decided to deal with these kinds of happenings was to stop being a part of the ‘system’. I found it better to be around the wonderful dancers and artists that really knew the value of art and artistic struggle than try to wade my way in to be a regular performer at events and festivals. I am not sure how it is now as I have been completely out of touch (by choice) with its happenings. It has meant lesser performances but I would prefer this any day to hurting my artistic ego.
In the other fields as well there is usually no substantial support until you make a ‘name’ for yourself and it is unfortunate that many emerging artists struggle with this. As an aspiring young actress I found few projects that didn’t want me just as a wife or daughter in law with mother in law problems. I dealt with it in the same way – I refused to be a part of it.
Here in UK there is recognition for true art but the challenge here is that there are too many talents and too much cut throat competition. Here it isn’t about what to choose but rather what not to choose. At the end of the day this kind of competition can stretch your artistic practice if you are careful not to let failure get into your heart. I just continue pushing myself as much as I can; my passion for the power of creation as an artist remains steadfast. Now as the director of a company, my main challenge is in bringing people together for different projects and making sure everyone is on the same wavelength. Honestly I wouldn’t call this a difficulty, it is intoxicating to learn to meander through so many creative minds at once!
My message to the women reading this is simple, “What are you waiting for! What could be better than experiencing the power of picking through innumerable choices and creating and moulding your perceptions through art? Any field for that matter will have its own challenges, just as being an artist will. But if it is what you want, it will be more than worth it at the end of the day. You are so lucky to be experiencing life as a woman; you are a work of art yourself. Be proud, be true, be you!”
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