Artist of the Month - Mala Hassett

Artist of the Month - Mala Hassett

Our Artist of the Month for June is Dorset Visual Arts' Member Mala Hassett. Mala Hassett is taking part in Epoch at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Penzance from Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd June. She also has an exhibition at the Duchess of Cornwall, Poundbury later this year, Sunday 1st September - Monday 30th September. 

Here's what she had to say about her practice and working in Dorset: I miss colour. Growing up in India I was surrounded by exciting colours, something I did not appreciate until I moved to UK more than 3 decades ago. In particular, I miss the luxury of saris. I had been so desperate to grow up just so I could wear one. Life in UK gives me less occasions for this indulgence.


Green Gold - Mala Hassett
Green Gold - Mala Hassett 

As an artist, I am constantly looking for avenues to recreate the visual gratification of India, particularly vibrant saris. I respond to the inspiring landscape that surrounds me - Dorset - my home, and India, where I visit often. I may be painting Dorset but my palette allows me to be in India. It is as if I am wrapping the landscape with the richest silk sari I can conjure up, transforming it to a frame filled with loss and nostalgia for where I was born.

My work always starts at a specific location. Once I have my landscape composition, I imagine it is a sari design and choose colours accordingly. Working with a limited palette, I use varying layers of paint to create tone and depth. I have always been attracted to textiles which have a dominant single colour and my compositions have started to reflect this, with a large central block of rich colour next to complex, concentrated detail, pushed to the edges. I am more interested in the shape of the line between colours, than the depiction of the scene. OS maps with their impartiality to depth-of-field offer much inspiration and the application of paint has subconsciously mimicked the warp and weft of textile weaves or intricate embroidery. 


Slip Way - Mala Hassett
Slipway - Mala Hassett 

How does working/living in Dorset influence your artistic practice? 

I am primarily a landscape artist, very fortunate to live close to open countryside and within a 15 min drive of the coast. I’ve taken up sea swimming so I get to see Chesil and Portland regularly under different light conditions throughout the year. Dorset’s influence is its fantastic coastline and the rolling hills of ever changing yellows, greens and blues - plenty of inspiration to last a few lifetimes! The other big influence has been the very talented artists of the Salon Group at DVA (Dorset Visual Arts) I’ve got to know and exhibited with. It’s a strong, supportive, encouraging peer group I couldn’t do without.

You can find out more about Mala Hassett's work on her Dorset Visual Arts' profileher website, and her Instagram


Website design by AztecMedia, Yeovil, Somerset