Parvati is a street artist who quickly stood out for her walls covered with large bird-headed human beings. She is an artist whom some describe as “troubled” or “special”.
Conversation with Jean-Sebastien and Pierre-Marie (street art photographers) at Lavo//Matik after a deterioration of the artist work in June 2019 and reflexion made to me by my friend, Dr Hamade, about my December 2019 post on my Instagram\delutu
Her creative principle seems to follow a precise pattern, that of deconstruction (of a symbolic meaning) and its reconstruction (into a new crossbreeding identity). Her way of creating seems to respond perfectly to her name, Parvati, “a new being” and a new artistic creation.
Nolwenn finds her works more spiritual and recalled her, the Ancient Egypt.
Why Do Her Works Annoy Some People?
Before any analysis, it is important to understand her pictorial technique. Parvati started drawing at a very young age. The fact that her father was a musician greatly helped her artistic education. In her way of painting, we see that she draws on ancient techniques from the great masters of sfumato
The sfumato is one of the four canonical painting effects of the Renaissance. It consists in giving subjects impressed or blurred contours which accentuate more or less depth.
and chiaroscuro. To these techniques, she also added research in mannerism for sacred poses and other subtle details. She draws from iconographies as well as Indian handicrafts using stencils in the background of her canvasses or frescoes. Large frescoes in the street are usually done in black and white Chinese ink on paper. These ink paintings usually concern a subject’s body that can be easily pasted. She uses casein paint to make the heads of birds. To do this, she paints with casein.
The casein-based paint is completely biodegradable.
Background Of Parvati
A Métis of Indo-European descent, Parvati was born in Guyana. With Parvati’s mixed ancestry, her achievements are an expression of her identity (involving tolerance and acceptance) therefore a second birth with an elevation. She is a mixture or a symbiosis of all these social, cultural, and spiritual contradictions of her environment.
Nature Versus the Urban Space
By defining herself as the symbiosis of all these differences, she finds herself attracted by the absence of radical identities, the abrogation of human, spatial, and temporal boundaries. Part of her commitment is to defend travelers and immigrants. Having lived in Guyana where blacks of African origin, whites of European origin, and indigenous Indians live together, sharing the same space and creating a rich culture, Parvati has evolved with an identity to represent herself through her own individually unique artistic creations. Her ecological side drew her to the defence of biodiversity and a desire to express herself in large open green spaces, bringing her closer to nature versus the urban space
Parvati graduated from studies in sustainable development.
Parvati is an atheist. She is therefore separate from traditional religious beliefs, not unusual for children from marriages with different beliefs. This choice of thinking and believing helps prevent possible conflicts in a family arising from radical behavior that could impose one set of beliefs by the dominant parent. This choice is one that contributes to the artistic expression of Parvati. Thus she works creatively with an approach contrary to logic, deconstruction-reconstruction.
This seems to be the foundation for the embarrassment or feelings of spiritual uplift that people viewing her work feel. Bringing a symbiosis of different cultures, she begins by breaking the founding and symbolic myths (it is the deconstruction of acquired culture). These myths can be – political, spiritual, or religious corresponding to the images conveyed by Shiva, Krishna, Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, etc; – biological like notions of human races, animal species, plant species as well as of minerals and including – moral codes of human societies in their cultural (anthropologically speaking) and civilizing approaches. This deconstruction is the basis of her creativity. With a white canvas or a photographic picture, she begins to create or reconstruct her thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
Her commitment to biodiversity and especially endangered birds, allows her to reconcile two battles she is fighting: the protection of nature on the one hand, and on the other, the bringing together of human beings in order to create neither a human nor a bird, travelers or immigrants – without land -, integrating a new land and a new culture without geographical barriers. These beings created by the new culture – that of the deconstruction and the reconstruction of myths, symbols, and other moral codes – lose their faces or their primary identities with heads of birds to acquire a much larger, new one, that of free citizens of the world. Don’t we say that human beings are “thinking animals?”
The embarrassment of feeling uneasiness or the feeling of a high spirituality that comes from viewing her works is a result of this deconstruction followed by a reconstruction of myths, symbols, moral and conscious or unconscious social codes of our memory. This mixture of images or symbols and other sacred Judeo-Christian or Indian postures with bird heads viewed, at first sight, may look like a racial abomination (a mixture of the human and animal species in western mythology), of conscious or unconscious religious blasphemy among Judeo-Christian believers such as Jean-Sebastien and Pierre-Marie. The creations around male and female bodies whose busts are stripped, highlighting the muscles of a man or the chest and the breasts of a woman, adding a bird’s head in a color contrasting with the rest of the body, seems much more abject, immoral, and insulting as much for Judeo-Christians as for Muslims such as my friend Dr. Hamade.
Parvati, the artist, by creating such works effectively accomplishes her mission according to the African culture which says that the name carried determines the personality of the one who wears it. Her actions and her way of processing contribute to the fulfillment or the accomplishment of her being or in other words, she has reached the elevation of her spirit. With the different techniques she uses, her life experiences, and different influences, everything leads her on the path of elevation or her fulfillment as a Being.
Vincent Mulago, Le Dieu des Bantous dans les Cahiers des Religions Africains, Kinshasa-Zaïre 1968; Placide Fans Tempels, La Philosophie Bantu, Elisabethville 1945.
Photo by Delutu
According to the Hindu religion, Parvati as a mortal ends up as a goddess, wife of Shiva and mother of Ganesha. The interpretation of the sacred will emphasize that Parvati has risen spiritually to become a deity. She first killed or deconstructed her first state, that of the mortal woman in order to rise or to rebuild herself spiritually in a new being, the goddess, or the “supreme feminine principle”. This process is identical to the artist’s approach which deconstructs the human being and reconstructs the person into another living being ” human-bird”, without a fixed or precise identity or membership of a race, culture, or religion which would limit the person and above all, without a geographic space determined or limited by physical borders of a country or a continent.
Ganesh ou Ganesha as a god is represented by an elephant head. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati. He is the most popular god, the god of Knowledge.
Photo by Delutu
It is by accomplishing these acts that the artist Parvati is defined as “troubled” or “particular” being for some and “spiritual” for others, the one who disturbs religious formatting as well as the moral and social codes of a society that we want unchanging, responding to the principles of the Judeo-Christian, Muslim and Hindu societies.