Playing with paint and painting the Gods – Lou Sumray

I played with different materials to “describe “ the Gods through mark making and

paints. It was playing + therefore definitely not set in my mind. The element that

came up was “time”- that to paint the Gods quickly needed practice as I found

sometimes I wanted to work further on the pictures as there were lots I was

dissatisfied with but realised that I need to let go of this for this specific “show”-

others did give satisfaction in their spontaneity. Shiva was the hardest, because

somehow he felt the most complicated to me.

I read somewhere that the eyes are painted last in Indian art (covers a lot of art!!!!)

because they are what bring the Gods to life (Lots of different cultural references

here-eyes are souls onto the world, the only “alive” part of our bodies exposed to

the world as every other part of our body is covered in a layer of dead skin etc)

I grabbed some quotes from a book I have called “The Hindu vision” – not sure how

reliable they are but may be of some use.

South Indian Artists song

All of me is on fire,

My voice, my body, my hands!

I tremble with the need to express.

Out of the earth I celebrate,

Out of the skies comes my answer.

Out of the earth I create his body,

Out of space his abode.

This bounty and his beauty is my source;

My body is the instrument of my expressions.

South Indian saying

The sculptor becomes the sculpture

Materials + colours

Ganesh- Red,(Muladhara Root Chakra) Indian Red,+ little amount of yellow

(Indian yellow), Blue background.

Playful, cheeky, perseverance, creates + resolves obstacles

broken tusk





Podgey tummy


Rides a Rat

Materials – Blue card, paint with a sponge + brush- quick, playful + gestural

Shiva- starting with blue (Ultramarine coming from Afghanistan like lapis lazuli)

then changing with white (ash). – Except his neck which stays dark blue + Indigo

3rd eye. (Lot of history concerning the Indigo plantations in India- “Indikos”= greek

word for India)

Fertility, destroyer, regeneration, shedding of habits, Lord of Dance

White and Fire colours



Flow of water/Ganges


Serpents (Ate the snake poison?)



White Bull- Nandi

2 sided Drum/ hourglass

Tiger Skin


Materials – Glass/perspex (dont know why – just tried it- something about seeing

through to reveal??) . Acrylic paint + brush. I did consider inks as they are more


Shiva took a lot of playing around with!!

Krishna – Black indian ink , coloured in with dark tones (as Krishna is often seen

as dark) Lightness of brush marks on a coloured background. Peacock colours. +

Yellow/golden robes.

Upright, plays flute, divine herdsman, destroys pain, lover, humourous



Peacock feathers,

Dark skin,

Golden Dhoti,

The number 8

Jambu fruit


Materials -I tried a few options here

Canvas covered in textured green (like the lush meadows) brush strokes kept light

and simple

Inks on paper

Raw linen canvas (unprimed/touched)

Colours + Pigments + materials

Carmine + cochineal – Bugs blood

Cinnebar (red) – mercury + sulphur (From a chemists accident)

Lapis lazuli (from Afghanistan) + Ultramarine + Prussian Blue- Rock/gems

Indigo- a shrub (grown in India)

Indian Yellow- cows wee

Indian Brown

Indian Red

Yellow Ochre- mud

Indian ink- originally from China

Rabbit skin glue- used (still by my brother) to seal /prime canvases

Explore the process

A lost art?
A bridge to India
Immersed in music
When Worlds Collide
The Idea (learning to dance)
Natural curiosity and questions (learning to dance)
Composer thoughts on Learning to Dance
In the presence of geniuses
The story (love and spice)
A dancer reflects on The Strategists (1)
Overview of The Strategists
Breakdown of The Strategists
Roundness of 12: a breakdown of the piece
Breakdown of the piece (love and spice)
Script (12)
Painter research
A dancer reflects on Love and Spice
Full Contact – highlights from the script
Dancer notes performance (flatlands)
Peacock Lake – genesis of the concept
Firing up the Mehfil Machine
The Collaborators
Creative Case – challenges along the way
The Guru-Shishya relationship
What is Kathak?
Life blood
Collaboration: Balbir & Gary
Colouring your emotions
Covid-19 Update on Monday, April 6th, 2020
Creative Case in action – July to September 2019
Finding my way in The Creative Spirit of John Curry
Talent Development – Abirami Eshwar
Talent Development – Kimberley Hardy
Collaborators: Lorna Brown and Gary Beacom
The Work: Act 1
The Work: Act 2
Planning the show
The 8 Dances
Who was Hans Krebs?
The Citric 
 Acid cycle
Balbir’s thoughts behind the work
Balbir on developing the work
Amrita Sher-Gil & Frida Kahlo
My favourite painting is. . .
Balbir reflects on The Two Fridas
Cast one
Devising in lockdown
Las dos Fridas
‘Alas Para Volar (Wings to Fly)’
Amrita – a story that lives in Art