Adding a hand painted wall to your home can spice up the entire look. This week, You! talks to a Lahore-based artist Amna Josh who loves painting walls...
There is something about art and hand paint that adds a lot of charm and character to home décor . It looks like a great way of self-expression and adds a unique element that accentuates the décor of a space. Adding a hand painted wall to your home can turn the entire look around, but it is not as simple as that. Deciding on how and what to paint on the wall and selecting the most reliable artist for the commission is a challenge in itself. This is exactly where Amna Josh of ‘The Wonder Room’ comes to the rescue.
Amna is a young artist who loves painting walls. She believes that nothing beats the feeling of expressing yourself through imagery. Amna recalls that ever since her childhood, she was interested in decorating things around her; files, copies and scrapbooks. “The impulse to adorn even something as basic as a school folder, goes to show how much attention I pay to even the smallest of details around me. I feel art is an innate ability. Of course, it gets more polished with time and experience,” she expresses.
The young artist does not remember taking Art as a subject in her O and A levels but that still didn’t stop her from getting an admission in National College of Arts. As an art student, she experimented with materials and surfaces. While pursuing her thesis in England broadened her perspective as an artist.
Amna launched ‘The Wonder Room’ because she believes that art needs to go beyond museums and galleries. “I wanted to make a synergy between art and homes to make interiors and home décor more aesthically pleasing. It basically denotes my idea of bringing together the visual form of expression with ordinary space. My work celebrates the liberty of my imagination and thoughts into something that’s visually appealing,” shares Amna.
Speaking about the colours that complement home décors, Amna believes that everyone has different preferences. “Every home is beautiful in its own way and I feel it is the artist’s job to give flavour to the space and blend in all varying ideas to create an ambiance that’s balanced and interesting. I do not restrict myself to a few colour palettes. Art has no boundaries and no limitations whatsoever. But if I were to pick a favourite colour, it would definitely be blue. All the varying shades from prussian to ultramarine, cobalt and navy, these are a few of my favourites to work with,” tells Amna.
Amna believes hand painted walls reflect individuality and this is perhaps she speaks to anyone who commissions a wall at their place. “The process is quite detailed and I start off sketching my ideas on paper. The visual elements in my composition of an image keep developing as I translate my ideas from paper to surface,” admits Amna.
“What differentiates a mural painting from a hand painted piece of furniture is the question of varying surfaces and of course the architectural context. Personally, a three dimensional surface allows more spontaneity and experimentation of my ideas, as opposed to a wall where I am bound by the two dimensionality of the surface. However, the scale of the wall really makes up for that. The fact that my work is challenging and breaks monotony is what I enjoy most about it. My concepts have been divided into collections that I am working on and each hand painted piece adds up to the story of every collection,” she adds.
Amna’s Cherry Blossom wall is a stunning piece of work that stands out and looks beautiful at the same time. Interestingly, she reminisces a typical spring day in England that comes across as if the cherry blossoms have come alive right out of her painting.
“The mural with metallic gold wall and white cherry blossoms is something I did for my own room, in an attempt to keep that memory alive to say the least. The base is airbrushed with metallic gold so it matches the fabric on the walls and the whole perspective and proportion of the mural is laid out according to the architectural design of the space. If noticed closely, the niche is not the painted area and the cherry blossoms are spread out around it, to give it a more unified composition,” Amna elaborates while speaking about her stunning work.
She also reveals that she painted a nursery for her nephew and that was probably one of the most fun projects she has worked on till date. “Aaryan’s Wonderland holds a great deal of sentimental value and the project itself was a realisation of my feelings for this beautiful new relationship that was coming into my life. Sometimes, words aren’t really enough to express your love and I feel that’s where art comes in,” expresses Amna.
She further tells that the whole idea and its execution would not have been possible without her sister Fatima, who being miles away, the farthest corner being Vancouver, was there every step of the way. “We discussed each and every detail; sending each other sketches back and forth- from the number of animals we are going to put into the baskets, their types, colours and basically everything that you see out there has been meticulously planned and thought out by the both of us. We had to keep in mind all the stuffed toys and other items that my sister was getting for the nursery so it all blended in with the theme. Fatima was really inspired by Little Hands Wallpaper, so she wanted something similar on those lines and I think it is safe to say that we managed to make a great team for this project,” shares Amna.
Currently, Amna is also working on hand painted furniture pieces and she is greatly inspired by the work of Fornasetti, an Italian painter and decorator. It is one of her favourites for home décor. Besides that, she finds Jimmie Martin’s furniture absolutely stunning; somehow they manage to strike a perfect balance between the boldness of their colours and imagery. More recently, she has also been looking at Boca Do Lobo’s beautifully hand painted furniture pieces that draw inspiration from traditional Portuguese tiles.
“Whether an item adds value to your home décor is completely a matter of personal choice and of course your inclination towards art. I personally feel that this kind of art creates a visual dialogue with the space and definitely adds character to your home,” concludes Amna.