EVOKING CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR PERSONAL MEMORIES AND EXPLORING THE INCREDIBLE POWER AND STRENGTH OF WOMEN : MEET PAINTER REISHA PERLMUTTER

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‘Receive’ - oil on canvas, 2016

AQUA, your newest body of work revoked the memories of your childhood, exploring ideas of light and water - why do you think its had such an impact on your practise and still continues to today?

I think that imagery from our childhood continues to impact our perceptions for our entire lives. I also think that there are patterns of emotions, and a necessity for connection in many aspects of life, that continue throughout life. 
The specificity of my memories of light and water, are really not what I try to have emerge in my work. It is important for me that the profound connection we have to light and water as a species, and as conscience beings, speaks out beyond my specific memories.
It is my hope that my paintings evoke feelings in the viewers that allow them to have a conversation with their own personal memories, through the broadness light and water.


‘Fission’ - oil on canvas, 2016 

The paintings in this series feature young women submerged in water, are these representations of yourself?

Some of my paintings are self-portraits, so yes they are representations of myself. However, the entirety of my series, AQUA is more than just my story, or reflection.
I choose to paint women because I think there is an incredible strength and intimacy within many of my paintings that I see as more universal female voice, and in many ways, a beautiful form of empowerment. 


‘Indigo’ - oil on canvas, 2016

Talk us through your process - from the initial imagery to the finished piece? 

My process is really important to my work. There is a sense of mystery and undetermined outcome through the creation of each of my pieces, which is sacred to my work. 
The aspect of abstraction and realism is sort of like the life force behind my process, as well as the final images. It’s like the life force of yin and yang, and created dynamism.
When I start my paintings, I have an incredibly loose and gestural approach. I think of it as trying to paint boundless energy into the skeleton of my painting, before I can paint all the details. It’s always sort of a mystery how my painting will come together, but that’s what I love about my process. It always keeps me engaged.


‘ Birch’ - oil on canvas, 2016

Your two other series TERRA and CORPUS both explore slightly different themes but focus heavily on painting skin - would you say these series helped you to develop your style in a way that allowed you to work more freely on your latest series?

Absolutely. In all of my series, there is a continual emphasis based on life, biology, and physical sensation. 
I grew up in a family of doctors, which has been an incredible gift for me. The biology and physiology of the body, and the environment is fascinating to me. It’s such a fragile and incredible beautiful relationship. This is something I really care about in my work, and especially in my latest series aqua, where body and environment really come together. 


‘ Merge’ - oil on canvas, 2016

Your say residency in Italy has had a profound affect on your work - if you could undertake a residency anywhere else where would it be, and why?

That’s a really hard question to answer. There are so many places I would love to go.
I think when you are meant to be somewhere; the opportunity arises on its own. So I guess, I will just keep my options open.


‘ Abalone’ - oil on canvas, 2016

Where do you think you’re work is heading now, will you continue with AQUA or are you planning to take your work in a new direction?

I don’t think that any of my series had diverted into such a different or new direction. With my work, there is an organic movement emotionally and psychologically that happens with each painting. It’s truly hard to distinguish between the end and beginning of a new series. I can say, that I have learned a lot through my series AQUA, and where I really want to hone my dialogue. 
Right now, there are so many poignant issues arising globally, whether they are political or environmental, and I think it is so critical for artists to have a voice at this time.
For me, this time is a time for women to empower each other. It is a time to honor the feminine, and the strength and beauty behind it. By beauty, I mean all aspects of it, far beyond a confined ideal of “perfection” associated with body image, which is something I fervently want to break. This beauty is about power. 
It’s about the power of our bodies, as incredible vehicles of life. It’s about the power of our psyche, and the power of self awareness.


‘ Disperse’ - oil on canvas, 2016

INTERVIEW by HANNAH SMITH - TO SEE MORE OF REISHA’S INCREDIBLE PAINTINGS VISIT www.reishaperlmutter.com


‘ Synapse’ - oil on canvas, 2016 

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