The UK is bulging with amazing fresh talent. Each year 1000’s of young hopefuls emerge from universities with their sights set on a career in their chosen art field but they very quickly learn that the road to success is a rocky and difficult one.
go.desi is a new digital platform that was designed specifically to support those wishing to reach customers looking for artisan and ethnically rooted products across the UK and beyond. Suki Talwar is the mastermind behind the site and, with a background in music and arts, is extremely keen on providing a medium for these amazing individuals to showcase their talent and just as importantly, sell it!
Just 3 of the most recent artists to take advantage of the site’s offerings are Kully Rehill, Kal Bansal and Sanjay Badhan.
Kully Rehal is the creator of ‘Funky Baba’ and has developed a range of stunning hand painted pumps, embellished with traditional Indian designs as well as a range of unique murals in her own inimitable style. Born and raised in Derby UK December 1985, Kully started painting from a very early age. With a strong influence rooting from her father’s passion for painting, her devotion for the arts steadily grew bigger and bolder. After graduating with a BA in Print Textiles Design, Kully started to explore the notion of self-identity within her own art. In particular, she was interested in how much Asian culture had influenced and shaped a whole generation of young British Asians, who grew up in an era born from immigrant parents. This eventually gave birth to her very own FunkyBaba label, which is driven by her commitment and love for promoting Asian culture by sharing people’s individual perspectives, addressing wide ranges of issues and stereotypes, and her personal experiences, travel and explorations.
Kully says: “I love the go.desi concept because it has given artists like me a great opportunity to showcase our work. As an independent artist, it’s often difficult to get recognition and appreciation for your work. go.desi has allowed me to introduce my work to brand new consumers that I would not have been able to access otherwise.”
Now living in Birmingham, Coventry born Kal Bansal is behind Kalarina Arts. Kal has been painting professionally for a number of years creating some fantastic works in oils, acrylics, airbrush, sand, silk, clay, wax and has also been known to use MDF. She enjoys working in many mediums and as well as exhibiting, she also creates made to measure bespoke artwork. Her inspiration comes from Indian geometric patterns, illustrations and vibrant ethnic prints, which allow her to create abstract pieces. With a fascination for Indian Art and Bollywood, she enjoys painting classic Indian dance poses. Her airbrush techniques have developed over the years and give a unique softer painting style with a more contemporary feel. Kal paints portraits in softly brushed oils or with an airbrush. She has also turned her hand to fashion illustration and is now creating wedding ‘toppers’ and figurines.
Sanjay Badhan set up ‘Blank Canvas’ last year through which he displays his distinctive flow of imagery, portraying expression and innovation through colour and vibrancy.
After graduating from the University of Derby he began to build on his skill set experimenting and exploring until his style became a perfect reflection of his unique perception of the world around him. It’s what he likes to call his ‘ink-full’ voice. Sanjay is a highly creative individual and presents a flow of multicoloured imagery, decorating expression and innovation through the media of varnished ink.
Sanjay says: “I was very interested in working with go.desi. As soon as I had visited the website I knew it was something special, something different. Not only a platform for artists but diverse businesses as well and everything feels integrated, they coalesce together with a ‘South-Asian’ feel, you don’t feel scrambled or lost. The site communicates a vivid, contemporary vision and their direction is clear.”
www.go.desi places much emphasis on ethnic art in its many forms from innovative designs on canvas and paintings through to unique murals on t-shirts and tote bags. A section of the site is dedicated to artists collections whilst other sections concentrate on products ranging from authentic Indian kitchenware, Ayurveda, vegan products and range of ethnic gifts.
Commenting on his venture, Suki explains: “I have always had a vested interest in the way South Asian culture has manifested itself in the West. My background is in working with Asian artists; I’ve worked with so many amazing people like Talvin Singh and Apache Indian, who pioneered the British Asian sound and paved the way for the next generation of Asian-inspired music artists. I also spent a lot of time working with the Arts Council of England, so I’ve seen the wealth of talent there is out there, and the lack of support these artists receive. go.desi was created to give budding and established businesses an opportunity to showcase their work on an appropriate platform and to allow not just Asian but the wider mainstream audiences to actually access and get a taste of some ‘alternative’ and edgy new products.”
The site is still in its infancy but has already garnered huge interest from suppliers in India, Pakistan, Canada and across much of the UK; all eager to get on board before the official launch next month.