News

Echuca exhibition an explosion of colour and vibrancy

By Ivy Jensen

NOTHING is off limits for Echuca artist Munesh Duhan.

Her art works are an attack on the senses, filled with colour and life, detail and texture.

The 34-year-old uses a wide variety of mediums, from acrylic and oil paintings, wood carving and graphics printmaking to paper quilling and hand-embroidery.

And thanks to a new Echuca exhibition, art lovers will be able to see and buy some of her most recent works.

The Indian-born artist has been creating art since childhood.

“I was not good at academics but I was good at drawing,” she said.

“I used to copy images from newspapers.”

After completing a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts in India where she learnt about murals, clay modelling, mosaic work, wood carving, life study and oil painting, Munesh moved to Australia with husband Sandeep Siwech in 2018 before settling in Echuca in January.

And while Sandeep teaches maths and physics at Echuca College, Munesh paints.

“My dream is to create so many beautiful paintings,” she said.

“There are so many ideas in my mind and I want to create them all before dying.

“What if I die tomorrow, and I’m not able to create all the work I want?”

Ali Farrell from Customs House, where Munesh will hold her exhibition, said Munesh’s work ethic was incredible.

“She paints the whole time her husband is at work,” she said.

Ali said she was surprised at the diversity of Munesh’s work.

“When she first came to see me, I really liked her style and she had a lot of acrylics and bits and pieces and then I saw her at a market stall in the Uniting Church and she had these gorgeous prints and it threw me for six,” Ali said.

“I asked her to come and do an exhibition and now she’s doing all these graphite pieces and they’re completely different again.

“When I saw her portfolio, there was so much else in there, including water colours, acrylic and oil paintings. She also has this crafty way of putting old books behind some of her work to give it texture. And everything she does is good.”

But what she loved most about Munesh’s work was her use of colour.

“I really love her vibrancy and the detail in some of them,” she said.

“There is so much more to the paintings if you look hard enough.”

Munesh said her inspiration came from a variety of places - from her school and university art teachers and Indian culture to television.

“I don’t plan anything, I just start making,” she said.

“Whatever comes to my mind or a picture might inspire me.

“There is no foundation. That’s what I like about art. You can make or create whatever you want.

“The main thing is feeling free. I feel free to create.”

More than 25 of Munesh’s artworks will be on display at Customs House from Thursday, July 2, until July 27.

The exhibition is open Thursdays to Mondays from 10am to 4pm.

Two opening sessions will be held on Friday - one from 6-7pm and another at 7.30pm-8.30pm.

There will be a limit of 20 people per session so people will need to book by emailing [email protected] or visiting Ali at the gallery.

All works are available to buy with opening night a perfect opportunity to meet the artist while sipping wine and gazing at the pieces.

A selection of Munesh’s works is also on display at the Riverine Herald office in Percy St.

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