Prakash Patel


Born in New Zealand in 1968, Prakash’s shimmering paintings are subconsciously imbued with a sense of the artist’s Gujarati background (Prakash’s parents emigrated from India before he was born). “I didn’t go out of my way to paint things that relate to being Indian, but I think it just happens that way naturally anyway.”

The Whanganui artist’s love of experimentation with paint is expressed in both large paintings on canvas and the small panel series he began in 1995. Both formats celebrate and explore the effects of paint - paint splattered, as single expressive strokes, dotted and dropped, and in circular vortex spins.

Prakash tends to use fluorescent and shimmering paint colours on black, creating the strong visual of bright iridescent items that float as if from the void. They could be pieces of sky with stars and comets, telescope sightings of giant supernovas or craters on distant planets, fireflies or exploding firecrackers in the dark. They could be underwater sightings of strange luminescent creatures like swarms of plankton that may be moving in warm currents towards food sources, or microscope scans of a Petri dish studying a colony of bacteria. We are taken on a journey, following the flick of a brush or Prakash’s curious dots like a marked trail, or charting the winds that have scattered a bloom of colourful dust.