Having trained as a Picchvai and miniature painter, in Jaipur, Rajasthan for over 15 years, this recent work is a return to contemporary imagery. Desmond was born in the UK (Leeds) but has lived much of his adult life in India. For much of this time he worked as Picchvai and miniaturist so his work is rooted in traditional language along with its methods, materials and symbolism.Read More
In these new works as he continues to employ traditional techniques in a craftsman like manner through the stringent preparation of all materials: cloth, paper, brushes and pigment colours. These materials are an integral part of the process of painting. Through this change however, the imagery, the context and meaning inevitably shift. The Picchvai scale continues although the iconography moves from the sacred to the secular; rusting cars, shards of modern life - modernity itself is animated, suspended in the miniature format. The personal narrative shuffles miniature paintings of the Moghul period - those psychological portraits of people and animals - to memories of the industrial urban landscape of his childhood. In both, the often-discarded moments, people and places, ordinary and everyday things, become elevated and transmuted.