First edition. Ramesh Nithiyendran

The first edition printed at Throwdown Press. Tryptich etching by Ramesh Nithiyendran

After three months of working on plates with Sydney based artist Ramesh Nithiyendran, we’ve managed to resolve most of the works and even edition a few.

Ramesh’s practice spans across painting, drawing, sculpture and ceramics.  He has been awarded several prizes for his works, including the Tim Olson Drawing Prize and the Freedman Foundation Traveling Scholorship.  He is currently undertaking a Masters of Fine Arts at Sydney’s College of Fine Arts.

From Phallic Feuds series (2001)
Oil Pastel, Acrylic, Enamel, Resin, Glitter, Liquid Paper, Oil Paint, Clay and Pyrography on Plywood. Dimensions Variable.
(Planar Works)
Fluorescent Acrylic, Fluorescent Enamel, Masking Tape, PVA glue and Clay. Dimensions Variable.
(Spatial Works)

Ramesh was happy to sit down with us and answer some questions in regards to his practice and how he felt about the printmaking residency he undertook with us at Throwdown Press.

Interview with Ramesh Nithiyendran, July 15th 2012 :

Since you’ve done very little printmaking before, what was it that drew you to the residency program at TDP? And what do you hope to get out of it?

Despite working primarily with paint, acts of drawing are integral to my creative processes and the way I construct marks. Particularly, linearity and the linear mark are integral to the aesthetics of most of my ‘paintings’. In this respect, etching seemed to be a natural extension to the various mediums I work with. As printmaking processes have always seemed elusive to me, the TDP residency program seemed to be an opportunity to gain skills and extend the vernacular of my current practice in a meaningful way. Especially at this time as I am attempting to shift the ‘default’ settings which dictate the material and conceptual outcomes of my practice. With these thoughts, I also thought it would be an enjoyable and challenging experience.

Are you finding it easy to translate your normal process to a printmaking process?  What are the biggest difficulties you are encountering?

I have found myself confronted by the limitations of my abilities and patience with processes I deem highly technical. I often find myself intimidated by technical processes that demand precision and fastidiousness. I do find the etching processes I am engaging with slightly challenging. Yet, the more I print the more I realize there are endless possibilities associated with the technologies. In this sense, the ‘translation’ of my typical painting processes – which involve layering, material experimentation, scratching, removing, splatting, pouring – and overall, the immediacy of the expressive, painted/drawn mark is something that can feature adequately within printing processes. I’m glad I’ve been offered the technical support in guiding this process.

Briefly describe what your work is about and what’s going with all those penises?

My current research is theorized a quasi-pilgrimage through various phallocentric contexts in efforts to establish a celebratory discourse of penis worship. That is, I aim to elaborate a queer, homo-erotic visual discourse, which while being centered upon the phallus, is liberated from the rigid and oppressive frameworks of patriarchal, heteronormative principles. With that being said, I’m unaware if this is even possible. Yet, I must admit that there is significant pleasure and hedonism in transcribing penis after penis and I really just love to paint and explore materiality.

In what direction do you see your work heading in the coming years? And do you intend for printmaking to become a steady part of your practice?

 I intend to construct large-scale, orgiastic narrative paintings that conflate what I perceive to be ‘temples’ of penis worship in ancient, contemporary, Eastern and Western contexts. That is, I plan to produce (postmodern) architectural ‘maps’ that amalgamate the shared indexes of Roman bathhouses, beats, sex on premises sites as well as Shivaite temples within India to construct narrative paintings around.  Yet, I am also dabbling with ceramics, coarse animations, sculpture and of course, printmaking. I hope printmaking will become an ambient feature of my future creative endeavours.

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