ArtRage 2023 artist profile: Vivanya

ArtRage 2023 artist Vivanya with her work Limitations

Image: ArtRage 2023 artist Vivanya with her piece, Limitations. Photo: QVMAG. 

Visual Art student Vivanya explores the immigrant experience in Limitations, featured in ArtRage 2023.  

"My work tries to show an attempt to escape specific toxic standards within immigrant communities, specifically Australian immigrant communities," explained Vivanya. "It explores the experience of an Australian immigrant and their sense of belonging and isolation, and loss of identity. 

"It also shows how such standards have negatively affected women's mental health. I’ve drawn this theme from my own experiences as well as my relatives — that's why I chose to use my Mum as a subject. The grasping nature of her poses within the grey-brown background allowed me to emphasise her desperate escape from particular cultural limitations. 

"She has experienced prejudice by people within her own community — and talking about women's mental health isn't very common in immigrant communities. So, hopefully, this takes a part in opening up the conversation.” 

Vivanya Shantikumara, Limitations (2023)

Image: Vivanya Shantikumara, Limitations (2023). Photo: supplied. 

Vivanya's piece uses acrylic paint and pan-pastel and is inspired by Cristina Troufa's So Close and Francis Bacon's Triptych. "I would describe my art style to be heavily inspired by Expressionism," she said. "It was the first time I've used pastels — my teacher helped me to develop my technique." 

When asked what she hopes people take away from viewing her art, Vivanya said, "I hope... I feel like Art, even mine, opens up a new perspective to understand. It's all about growth and learning. Whether some people relate to my artwork or not, I hope my work helps people gain knowledge and understanding of different life experiences, as I believe everyone is an eternal learner.” 

For students hoping to be part of ArtRage in the future, Vivanya's advice is to continually engage in art. “Do as many works as you can,” she said. “Even if you don't think it's good. Because at any moment you can discover something and have a light bulb moment. You can discover something, whether that be a new technique, that just clicks and simply ties everything in your art together.” 

She believes art will continue to be an important part of her life. “I hope to continue making art, whether it be sketching in my notebook or creating on large canvases. Making art for me is a peaceful and sometimes cathartic process, which is why art will continue to be one of my favourite hobbies.”