When creativity knocks and we choose to open the door, what walks in as inspiration walks out is creation. Luckily for us, Durban artist Devika Pillay draws inspiration from her surroundings to bring us the incredible creations of Colour Palette, the Durban art gallery and creative oasis right here at 8MS.
What started as a lifelong affinity for creativity was only the primer to what is now a professional career in both the creation and curation of art for Devika. Creating art for presents and personal intention was only the beginning as Devika now owns her own gallery filled with her works of various mediums, subject matters and styles. From its inception, Colour Palette intended to create a platform where Devika could showcase her work and engage with other creatives in and around the happening 8MS neighbourhood. Much like the regeneration process at play- a reimagination of Durban that drew Devika to 8MS- Devika’s work helps reposition mindsets surrounding the melting pot of people and cultures that is our beloved Durban.
One step into her gallery and you are transported into the heart and mind of its creator. The ex-nursing sister turned professional artist is a proud lover of people and Africa, and it shows. Be it her paintings surrounding issues of poverty, artistic representations of women and children, or her wonderful tributes to the late and great, Madiba, Devika’s gallery provides an honest representation of her artistic integrity and compassion .“I am not a president, I am a painter”, Devika proudly declares. While the distinction is clear, Devika skillfully takes the issues a president would address, and addresses them as an artist.
“I feel my art and the emotion I convey through the canvas more than words itself”, she says. While Devika immerses herself and concepts into the surface of her works, she encourages a type of creative viewing pleasure where the audience can take from her works what they want.
Devika is unique in her authentic commitment to being an African artist. While most galleries shy away from displaying African art, Devika remains undeterred by simply opening a gallery that would. In future, Devika hopes to showcase other up-and-coming artists of like-minded passion in her gallery as well as host art classes and creative workshops. By understanding the state of flux that the artist endures, Devika embraces her own artistic evolution. However, for now, her heart still paints Africa.
Visit the unique and diverse art gallery that is Colour Palette and explore the other authentic retail spaces created by Durban artists & artisans at 8 Morrison Street, Rivertown.