Published: 26th August 2019
This Chennai-based artist creates stunning rock-like abstract art. Here's how
Self-confessed ‘art nerd’ Affshana Mahamutha revels in creating beautiful abstracts – from pouring paintings to geodes – all the while imparting her knowledge to her growing fan base
Unless you’re a geologist or mineralogist or somebody who is generally obsessed with rocks, it is unlikely that you know what a geode is. So, for the uninitiated, geodes are hollow, vaguely circular rocks in which masses of mineral matter are secluded. In simple terms, they are naturally-occurring beautiful rocks that are adorned with beautiful crystals. In recent times, their beauty has inspired many artists all over the world to create artificial geodes that look breathtakingly similar to the real deal. Mahamutha Affshana, a Chennai-based artist with more than 12,000 followers on Instagram, not only creates her own intricately crafted and colourful geodes but also teaches the rare art through one-day workshops and intensive ‘masterclasses’.
“Geode art uses epoxy resin, an organic polymer compound, as the main raw material. We basically mix the resin with colours and hardeners to activate it. Then, using the ‘pouring’ technique of abstract art, we can easily create waves, patterns and lines and finally, adorn the resulting geode with crystals and stones. People are drawn to geode art because of its hyper-glossy finish. It is unlike anything else,” explains the 23-year-old who took a few detours before finally embarking on the road to ‘serious art’. “I had taken up Dentistry in college but discontinued it after just three years as I was not passionate about what I was doing and instead, decided to do a course on interior designing, which is closely related to what I loved the most — art, Thankfully, my parents did not scold me for steering off the conventional path. They only encouraged me and this is what has kept me going so far,” she smiles.
Beautiful abstracts: She uses stones and crystals to give the geodes extra appeal
While pursuing interior designing, Affshana worked as a freelance artist who experimented with different types of art and discovered her own techniques and methods through trial and error. That is when she discovered something that would change the course of her life forever. “I found that it was difficult to find affordable art supplies in India. When I say art supplies, I don't mean the usual paints or brushes or canvases, but niche stuff used in abstract art like resins, hardeners, pouring liquid and cell mist. I decided to go abroad to source these materials for personal use and after being assured of their quality, I began making these supplies available for people in India through my store, Artstop, which is a one-stop destination for all art aficionados,” elucidates the self-taught artist who adds that all her supplies are imported and are easy to use, non-toxic and non-yellowing.
Sculpted with love: Affshana also does clay painting, which uses clay paste as the medium
Artstop may only be a year old, but it has already emerged as one of the go-to shops for anything and everything related to art in the country. Affshana has also become a household name in the art circles and she has conducted more than 35 workshops in cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kochi so far (this is excluding the online workshops she conducts on a daily or weekly basis). Additionally, she gets invited to events like birthday parties or corporate get-togethers for demonstrations. “I think people love my work because it is abstract. There is no set form or shape to what I do. It is nothing but playing with colours, textures and patterns. Creating abstract art is very soothing and ‘satisfying’. And the best part is – there are no rules. Your painting or artwork will be a reflection of what is going on inside your mind at that point of time and that thought itself is empowering,” she points out.