Mita Solanky

Mita Solanky
Mita Solanky

My practice seeks to reconnect the human body with nature; by immersing myself in the natural environment I create visual work that is a direct trace of a phenomenological experience. My work is made in the context of the synthetic tech-driven environments we inhabit, and our deteriorating relationship with the organic natural environment. I carry out artist residencies in places where I can reconnect to nature, in contrast to the urban environment where I currently live and work.

Walking is a key tool in my practice. I first used walking in Body of Work where canvas strips are ‘walked’ over the entire body, resulting in compositions of a human cartography. In Spine Walk I walked the Pennine Way in sections to create a piece to celebrate 50 years of Britain’s first National Trail. I use walking as a way to experience the landscape, and have used images taken whilst walking in the wilderness, and expressed these through the non-toxic printmaking technique of solar-plate.

The process of making and the materials used are as important as the visual form in my work. I comment on the loss of manufacturing industries, studying disused factories which carry the histories of making in ‘art histories’ and ‘blue collar’. In Wheel Work I consider how mass-production has affected the value of human-making and our relationship to natural habitats, materials and processes.

Performance is integral to my practice. On my first residency in rural Wales I created Sleep Walks through the act of sleeping – in response to the loss of the precious act of rest, a comment on our discord with natural rhythms. Last year I presented participatory sculptural pieces at ‘Made in Roath’ art festival in Cardiff, where works were situated in a public front garden.

I created black square walk and white square walk, which express the human body as the vessel in which we experience the journey between life and death, using the minimalist motif of the black-square and white-square. I have had the opportunity of exploring this idea of the transient nature of all existence for the residency I recently carried out, where I created work using data from images captured by scientists studying dying stars.

In my previous career I worked in high end computer science, after having studied Physics at university followed by research on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN when it was being developed. Before I left my career in computing to study Art I took a month off to go trekking in the Himalayas. The trip fed a growing personal critique of the schism technology creates between human experience and the natural world. I had a desire to explore and process the world through art. I view the two disciplines of Art and Science as an endeavour into the same quest – what human life means in the context of our world. I’m always looking for the things we have in common with each other and with nature, to express ideas that are universal.

Mita Solanky