Febraury 2012: Daniel Castelaz & Soumya Jayaraman

Daniel Castelaz creates intricate art that he refers to as “Objects”. They have a quirky and distinct presence. Most involve dealing with materials & engineering problems to create works that the viewer can interact with. To quote Daniel "I use loads of materials to make my objects, including bottle caps, beads, rice paper, epoxy, acetone, paint, wood, veneer, plaster, found objects, (and more), and that’s important only because figuring out how to use them and put them all together provides the push/pull I need to keep going.  Not much of what I use remains what it used to be. In the kind of give and take relationship that happens when I am working, I manipulate the materials in ever-changing ways and the materials in turn alter both the object and the way I think about what happens next . It is important for me that my work carries the evidence of being made by hand, the result of a conscious mind with a (limited) set of skills, over a significant period of time. The objects don’t really look like art, but to me that’s a good thing. They live on completely on their own, and at their best they act as spurs to the personal history and memory of whoever comes across them."

Soumya Jayaraman is a fine art photographer, creating surreal images. She was born and brought up in Chennai, India. Her work is an eclectic mix of both worlds - one where she spent most of her childhood in and the other where she spent most of her adult life. “I love stories. I like them in all forms - photographs, paintings, illustrations, movies, fiction and poetry. I consider all of them to be a medium for story telling. As my own medium, I use photography. Every picture I have made so far has come from a preconceived story and each and every one of them is staged. My stories range from a setting in a surreal land to the social issues that exist in our society.“ Her work starts with an idea, which she sketches on to paper. She then decides on the props/clothes she needs. She combines images from photo shoots and postproduction elements to create a medium for her storytelling, which lends a surreal feel to the picture.