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Indra Persad Milowe

Artist Interview
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When did you begin your artist journey?

April 2019: I retired and I read:

I thought about all the kitchens that I had cooked in, my favorite was my grandmother's kitchen. She cooked with 3 Chulhas, they required a lot of skill to manipulate the pieces of wood, to keep the flame burning correctly. To become an "eligible bride", one of the requirements was to be able to puff a paratha, with the right texture and consistency. After mastering that skill, you are allowed to place "your handprint" on her kitchen wall, it was like a Graduation. That kitchen brought up a lot of memories of different foods that were cooked for different Festivals. Hence my 1st painting was my grandmother's kitchen. As I began to plan out this painting, I remembered the smell of freshly made laddos which was a favorite dessert of ours and of Lord Ganesh. Lord Ganesh is the Remover of all Obstacles and the first Hindu deity to be worshiped in all Festivals and Ceremonies, therefore my 2nd painting was Ganesh Chaturthi.
My Agee's (paternal grandmother) mantra was: "Eat your dahl and roti and God will make a way".
अपनी दाल रोटी खाओ और भगवान रास्ता देगा
apanee daal rotee khao aur bhagavaan raasta dega

There is a personal story behind every one of my paintings. I painted every single Festival celebrated in Trinidad, West Indies, also all the Folklore stories that I heard while growing up. This is the reason for the title: "Festivals and Folklore of Trinidad, West Indies". In my Adulthood, I retired from General, Ophthalmic and Psychiatric Nursing in April 2019. I have worked in England, Malta, Trinidad and the United States. Through British Nurses Overseas, I was able to work in different countries. Ultimately, I decided to go back to Art during my retirement, I prefer working on canvas with multi-colored & gold acrylic paints.

April 2019 - I retired from our Medical Practice in Adult Psychiatric Medicine after 30 years and started painting: "Festivals & Folklore of Trinidad West Indies".

March 2020 - I opened my 1st Solo Art Exhibition at Lynnfield Public Library with 25 paintings and "I was on top of the world".

"One week later the Library closed due to Covid 19", my Exhibition stayed up until it was reopened in June 2021.

March 2020 - June 2021 - I did several Digital Solo Art Exhibitions in Galleries in the USA and the Rotunda Gallery in Trinidad and Tobago.

Monday 10th April 2023: I have done over 150 paintings on: "Festivals & Folklore of Trinidad, West Indies", Costa Rican, Moroccan & Balinese Art.

I have done 26 Exhibitions and 31 Press Releases, see my website:


Where does your inspiration come from?

My painting enhances my creativity both on the canvas and in other aspects of my life! It also has an uplifting effect on my mental and emotional well-being.
Most of my ideas come to me when I am lying in my bed so I keep a sketch book and pen next to it. I sketch my thoughts before putting them onto my canvas. I also do a lot of research before I start sketching. I left Trinidad at age 18 and am now seventy one years old. I wanted to focus my artwork on childhood memories and growing up on a unique multicultural island. Weekends and holidays were spent at my grandparent’s house. There was a Hindu temple on their street which was the community hub. There is so much that I thought I had forgotten but the memories streamed back for my series ‘Festivals and Folklore of Trinidad, West Indies’.
I was an "Artist in Residence" at Mauser Eco House in Parrita, Costa Rica and Air Ubud, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. I will be attending the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) in May/June.
I have travelled extensively around the world including Morocco and 60 cities throughout Europe, North & South America and Asia.

Do you have experiences that impacted your art?

"International Women's Day". "The Ship of State": Must be steered by ethics and morals. There is no place for racism, sexism or violation of LGBTQ rights. Poverty must be eradicated. We must live in harmony with our environment, including guarding our precious water supply and growing as much of our own food as possible. A single payer healthcare system insures the best medical care for every citizen and should replace our current tiered system, which insures inequality! Illustrating both respect and the beauty of diversity in our culture, the painting depicts a Hindu woman in front of her temple, an African Christian woman in front of her church and a Muslim woman in front of her mosque.
"Education": One of the crucial factors supporting gender equality is educational opportunities for all girls and women. This includes training for trades, entrepreneurship and professional careers. Education must foster inquisitiveness and creativity as well. All students need exposure to music and the arts. A deep understanding of history, philosophy and ethics rounds out a well-conceived education for all people. Research shows that educational opportunities for girls and women support gender equality. It also provides a better home life for children and improved economic status for families. Education depicts graduates pursuing different career paths. The building in the background has multi-colored windows, representing diverse opportunities for all girls and women in our society.
"Family Planning: Millions of women throughout the world have not had access to modern birth control methods, available over the last sixty years. This has led to worldwide human overpopulation, strain on Earth’s resources, destruction of habitats and extinctions of species. Research shows that when a woman has access to family planning, she uses it! This frees her from the unwanted burden of a large family and enables her to pursue a career of her choice. Her family is smaller and more economically secure. Family planning is thus crucial for gender equality.

What do you aim to say by the themes in your art?

My favorite theme in my art is "Exploring the cultural practices of different societies around the world". Thus, I love to travel to meet people and to learn about their culture, traditions and religion. I am particularly fascinated by what cultures do to enhance social cohesiveness, social concord and to promote justice. I look for factors promoting and the physical and psychological well-being of each society....Research has shown that different colors of the rainbow can enhance well-being. Thus I consciously employ bright and pleasing and "eye-catching" colors to both draw in the viewer and to enhance their sense of well-being. See below: Examples where I explore social issues and social cohesiveness can be seen in these paintings of mine: "Mukuru Clean Stoves", "The Ship of State" and "Pulling the Seine". I was born in Trinidad, West Indies and now live in Salem, MA. It is a very popular tourist town with the world renowned Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem State University and everything that goes with the Salem Witch Trials.

Do you have experiences that impacted your art?

"Glass Case Exhibition on Hinduism" at Malden Public Library.
Tree of Life Painting - The Tree of Knowledge and Wisdom. Tibetan flags adorn the shelf.7 Chakras Healing Crystals: Clear Crystal Quartz, Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli, Green aventurine, Tiger eye, Yellow Jasper, Red Agate. A simple Tree of Life feng shui decor can keep you inspired and encouraged, help you find strength and stability. The Tree of Life with its seeds,branches and roots signifies the family tree. It will Infuse Abundance and Prosperity into Your Life. When you wear it, it promotes beauty, health, good luck and healing. Tree of Life Size: 1.77 inches,Tumbled stones size: 0.7-0.98 inches, Chipped stones size: 5-8mm. Total Length: 11-11.5 inches Handmade tree of life ornament: Wrap the copper wire into the shape of a tree of life and string the drilled stones as the branches of the tree by hand. symbol of positive energy, growth and strength, rebirth, a bright future, longevity, good health, and a fresh start on life. Trees of life were thought to have mystical elements that heal the soul. The chakra are the centers of energy, located on the midline of the body. Each of the 7 chakras represents a physical, emotional or mental state, helping to enrich one's spirit and well-being. The chakra stones are used to balance the chakras on a daily basis and to enhance chakra healing.

Who has influenced your work, or continues to influence your work?

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986) who was an American artist and known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers, and New Mexico landscapes. She has been referred to as the “Mother of American Modernism”.

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation, but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. She has been acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan.

Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) who was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. She employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, post-colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. She is also known for painting about her experience of chronic pain.

Do you feel your art challenges existing barriers?

"Moko Jumbie": A moko jumbie is a stilted walker or dancer. Moko means healer in Central Africa and jumbie, a West Indian term for ghost or spirit, is possibly derived from the Kongo language word zumbi. The moko jumbies are thought to originate from West African tradition brought to the Caribbean. A moko jumbie character wears black or colorful garb and Carnival masks. Moko is a god who watches over his village, and due to his towering height, he is able to foresee danger and evil. Moko literally means “diviner.” These stilts walkers were said to be able to perform incredible acts! It is said the moko survived by living in the hearts of African descendants during slavery and colonial life to eventually walk the streets of Trinidad in a celebration of freedom, Carnival. The people loved and trusted in this spirit! Trinidad adapted the figure, notably by adding on jumbie, a spirit or ghost, to the name.

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