Community Takeover with Aashna Jhaveri

Community Takeover with Aashna Jhaveri

Right from the beginning, Lune was created with the desire to create for ourselves — what brings us joy? What best expresses our state of mind? Our latest collections have been an experiment with textures; an ode to slowness in process, and the uphill climb that craftsmanship often takes. 

Keeping that in mind, we asked an independent artist, Aashna Jhaveri, who is also the Sales Director at TARQ, a contemporary art gallery in Mumbai, India to do a takeover on our Instagram and talk all things texture and process. Aashna is a paper artist, who uses this versatile material as a sculptural element. She walks us through her artistic work, places from where she gets her daily dose of inspiration and her art journey until now. It's truly inspiring and we hope it inspires you as well.

Pictured above: Aashna wears the Big Ripple Hoops, Wandering Crescent Moon Necklace and Vision Rings - Set of 3

Introduce yourself and what you do?
I am an independent artist and currently also have a full time job as the Sales Director at TARQ, a contemporary art gallery in Mumbai. 

My creative practice is where I find space to unburden and seek solace. I try to create the kind of visual stimuli that I want to be surrounded by and aim to create work that makes one feel centered, quiet, and focused again — a respite from an overstimulating world. 

How’s a day in the life of Aashna?
I start my day with a cup of coffee to keep me going through the day, before I leave for work at 8:30 am. Since my workplace is quite far, I prepare for the day by making notes while I'm travelling, to get ahead of the day. My work at TARQ primarily entails artist liaisons and maintaining client relationships. TARQ is a great space to meet people from all walks of life, but the most exciting part is to work with the artists and see them grow through their practice. I get done around 6:30 pm and it's pretty late by the time I reach home. After which, I have a quick dinner and hit the bed at 10:30 pm. 

 On Sunday, I spend time with my husband, we order in and Netflix pretty much the whole day. We also make some time in the evening to meet our families. I usually keep my Monday free for my own work and make sure to touch base with my own practice, even if it is for a few hours!

Pictured above: Aashna wears Big Ripple Hoops, Glow Moonstone Signet Ring and Vision Rings - Set of 3

How did you develop your art style?
My earlier paintings consisted of drawings based on my daily observations in the city and mapping our everyday routes. These paintings were mixed media works but somehow I was unable to fully relate to the material with which I was working. So I started with drawing just lines and creating patterns although still mapping my daily routes. From the lines that I drew, I began looking at paper being this mundane everyday material and how it mimics nature in its versatility— soft, stiff, malleable and flexible. I then realised that with just a few tears and cuts I’m able to transform the material and I started to enjoy the sculptural element that the works turned into. By adding multiple layers of paper to a work over time, it resulted in the work embodying itself in the time taken to create it. 

Do you have favourite artists who work with textures?
More than textures, it's mostly artists who work with paper and lines that inspire me. The textures become a part of the process while creating the works. Some artists that I am inspired by are Zarina Hashmi, Nasreen Mohmedi, cut-outs by Henri Matisse, Lucio Fontana and Val Britton to name a few. 

Pictured above: Aashna's home studio 

Is there a real-life experience that has inspired your work? If yes, what was it?
I draw pattern inspiration from a variety of sources, both natural and human-made: rings of a tree, a topographical map, or a wave, rock formations, ornate screens in Islamic architecture. To me, the lines with positive and negative shapes are the ability to reproduce the order of the universe. I rely on what I observe, experience and feel on a daily basis — mostly things/subjects that are usually considered mundane, for example my commute to and from my workplace, the lines that divide the roads into lanes or how the sky changes every few minutes. 

Do you use social media to promote your work? How has it helped you?Yes, I do use social media to promote my work, but not as consistently as I should / can. It has allowed me to expand and gain visibility. It is a valuable tool for me to show my work to a larger audience and it does help to use these tools in some ways because you never know — the most random and crazy opportunity can come from someone seeing an image somewhere! 

Pictured above: Aashna wears the Vision Ear Cuff, Big Ripple Hoops, Wandering Crescent Moon Necklace  

What are your favourite textures to work with?
At the moment I'm still experimenting with paper. But it is the relationship between the monochromatic palette and the way the patterns pop, simply by how the light hits them, is what fascinates me.  

Do you have an art piece you’re the most connected to?
The overlapping layers of paper in the Terra series is what I feel connected to right now. It almost feels like mirroring the inevitable change of landscape through these works.

Pictured above: Aashna wears the Glow Moonstone Signet Ring and Vision Ring - Set of 3

What are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on experimenting with the scale and the sculptural element of the material. I am also looking into incorporating environment friendly and sustainable material to create my works. 

What feelings or memories did our jewellery evoke?  ( we’ve ventured into textures for the first time and really eager to know what you think )
The most beautiful part of the jewellery from your WHEREABOUT collection is that none of the pieces can be the same because of the textures on it and that makes it unique and personal in its own way. The textured crescent necklace immediately reminds one of the moon, the stars and the sky and to me the moon makes me believe like we are a part of something much bigger. The undulating texture also makes the pieces look like they are modern heirlooms that strike a balance between timeless and trendy.

 Pictured above: Our W H E R E A B O U T S collection on Aashna's beautiful artwork