Gonzales artist finds inspiration amidst tragedy

Gonzales artist finds inspiration amidst tragedy

The Fairfield Artists Studio Tour takes place next weekend.

When Aura Arindam’s husband suffered a brain aneurysm and survived, she thought they had won the battle.

Her husband, Auro, was recovering well and learning to walk again following the brain aneurysm, when he started having pain in his chest. At first, doctors thought it was a pulled muscle, but they later learned it was cancer that had spread to most of his vital organs. He was given months to live.

“It was shocking, devastating. He was just recovering from being able to walk from the brain aneurysm. We thought we had won the battle and he was gone three months later,” Arindam said.

In his final months, Arindam looked after her husband, who was an accomplished artist. There were some days when she wouldn’t leave the house because she had to care for him. Watching her husband of 25 years slip away took a toll on her, which is when Arindam decided to find something to help keep her mind off the inevitable. That something was art.

One day, Arindam picked up pencil crayons and began replicating flowers in her garden in her home in the Gonzales neighbourhood. Art quickly became therapeutic and helped her during an incredibly emotional period in her life. Even on his deathbed Auro encouraged her to continue creating art.

In the days and months after his death, Arindam spent a lot of time walking along Dallas Road and Beach Drive, watching the sunset, which always left her with a sense of awe. Those sunsets and feelings of grandeur have become Arindam’s inspiration for her paintings, which often depict seascapes, landscapes and cloudscapes.

“Art sustained me before, during and after (my husband’s death). It really kept me going. It’s very hard taking care of someone you care so much about,” Arindam said, adding art had always been her secret passion. “I never thought I could do artwork. Like a lot of people, I thought you have to be born an artist.”

Arindam is one of 28 local artists who will be participating in the 16th annual Fairfield Artists Studio Tour Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As part of the free self-guided tour and one of the longest running studio tours in the city, local artists open their studio doors to the public to display and sell their art. Participants have the opporutnity to meet and talk to artists using a variety of mediums including sculptors, ceramics, digital paintings, photography and wood carving, and find out what their inspriations are. Organizers expect some 300 to 400 people to attend this year’s event.

“I hope they’ll (participants) be inspired and see the great variety and quality of artwork that we have in the community. It’s a whole discovery process, it’s so enriching,” Arindam said. “I hope these people become creative and join the tour in future years.”

For more information about the Fairfield Artists Studio tour visit fairfieldartistsstudiotour.com.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com