Natasha Kumar

Art and India are in Natasha Kumar’s genes. On her English side she comes from a long line of established artists: her Indian heritage she traces back to Kashmir and Afghanistan via stories of partition and lost family gold.

She has made her own name as an artist from the age of 17, when, earning a place by right in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition she found her etchings hanging on the same wall as paintings by her grandfather and uncle. Natasha Kumar began with a first class degree in printmaking at Manchester. She studied printmaking and anatomy in Venice and completed her MA in London in 2000, winning the London Printmaking Prize the same year.

She has a dedicated and growing following of collectors. Her work is represented in private and national collections worldwide. She lives and works in London.

Natasha’s work offers a very genuine feel of India. Her father is Indian, and she often visits for long periods. She loves colour, obviously a very Indian thing in itself.

She is very excited by opposites; writing in advertisements contrasted with the bright colours of fabric, or the lonely cow. Her use of script is very contemporary, and the resulting image, through its clarity and design proclaims itself. It is both atmospheric and compact.

In hand with this delight in oppositions goes a personal conundrum, how to reconcile her Indian side with its passionate love of colour, with her English upbringing, which urges her to draw as correctly as possible, potentially exerting restraint on her feelings. She faces the two remarkably well, cutting out the sentimental and achieving a vital freshness in her work.

I am always struck by how vivid her paintings are, and how evocative are her prints.

Anthony Eyton RA