The House was built around art and its stories, which is why it was time (and overdue if you ask some) to feature a painter on one of our covers. We love Indivi Sutton for many reasons, but let’s start with the kind of person she is. Kind is the first word that comes to my mind and is something we relish at The House. The publication industry can be tough – but we dream of it becoming a community, so when Indivi mentioned she was going to be in New York with an upcoming release of her work it felt like a warm hug – one that felt like the perfect fit. We’ve been admirers of her work for some time, and this chat gave us the opportunity to catch up with her to see where she was and where she has gone since our last interview with her.
Last time we talked, Indivi told us about her artistic evolution, taking us from the inception of her painting career to the pivotal exhibition at St. Cloche a couple of years ago. Now, we have the privilege of revisiting her creative process and received an inside look at the milestones she’s hit from then until now. Indivi’s journey has led her to collaborations with other creative talents such Australian fashion designer, Bianca Spender, for her Spring/Summer collection, FIFTEEN, showcased at Australian Fashion Week. Being able to watch her paintings walk the runway, flowing through the fabrics of the designs was a dream come true for Indivi. Shortly after this project, her fourth solo exhibition, “Evermore,” opened at Saint Cloche, exploring the philosophical depths of Rudolf Steiner’s principles and the concept of embracing the impermanence and transparency of the world around us.
This time, the spotlight of our discussion is on her most recent venture: the development and presentation of her new show, “Eurythmy,” in New York displayed at Ki Smith Gallery. Indivi’s connection to the city is deeply personal, and her return has allowed her to explore her roots and unveil a body of work inspired by Steiner’s philosophy and the practice of Eurythmy. In this interview, Indivi shares the meaning behind “Eurythmy” and the inspiration driving this beautiful collection. She explains how her experience in New York, particularly her fascination with the city’s distinctive shade of blue, played a pivotal role in shaping her vision for these paintings.
Welcome to our October cover story.
Hi Indivi! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. We’ve been fans of yours for a while now, and when we first interviewed you, you took us through your story from the beginning of your painting career up until your exhibition at St. Cloche a couple of years ago. What have been some milestones for you between then and now?
Hello, and thank you for the warm welcome! I’m so honored to be on the cover this month and am honestly grateful for the connection and support The House has shown me. Since our last interview, which focused on my second solo exhibition at Saint Cloche and the large works for Sydney Contemporary, my creative and life journey has been revealing of moments that I never imagined would have been.
Most recently, I collaborated with Bianca Spender for her Spring/ Summer collection FIFTEEN at Australian Fashion week. Together, two prints were created. Two tones that were ones of the heart and soul. It is a dream realized to collaborate with Bianca, and it was beyond my wildest imaginings it would evolve into what it did. Working with Bianca, who I very much admire and respect, holds so much integrity in love and creativity as a woman. It has been one of the greatest chapters of my creative journey. Shortly after Australian Fashion Week, my fourth solo exhibition “Evermore”. opened at Saint Cloche in June this year. Evermore delved into Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy, that to experience the “all-embracing truth,” we must completely surrender to the present moment. By allowing ourselves to be fully engaged in our surroundings, breathing slowly and deeply, it is possible to embrace the impermanence and transparency of the world around us.
Tell us about your return to New York and the development of this show, Eurythmy.
I am a New York City girl through and through. I was born and lived in NY until I was 17. When I returned for a visit in January 2023 after being away for five years, I felt a strong connection to find a place to show my work. It held great significance for me to present my work in New York, to stand alongside people I’ve known all my life in front of my paintings. I believe the richness of my experiences in New York have subconsciously shaped my creative identity.
The Rudolf Steiner School NYC have been great supporters of my creative journey from afar and I was very excited by the potential to work with them closely in New York on a show. Through the Steiner community, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Ki Smith, an alumnus of the Rudolf Steiner School in New York.
“Indivi and I first met back in 2022 off of a recommendation from a member of our alma-mater community. Typically I am hesitant to use the phrase “let me introduce you to an artist” but when I saw Indivi’s work, I was genuinely taken aback and immediately took the steps to set up a meeting. When we met, there was an immediate kinship, and coming from the same Waldorf background, we had a lot in common, even though we never passed each other in school. Over the next year we got to know each other and began planning out Indivi’s highly anticipated, first solo exhibition in New York City. It’s been an honor and pleasure, collaborating and getting to know Indivi and her work and we are so thrilled to be her New York representation!” – Ki Smith
What is the meaning behind the Eurythmy? Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this body of work?
Embodying Rudolf Steiner’s philosophical tenets as the foundational impetus for this body of work. Eurythmy apprehends the profound that encompasses all facets of human existence. The practice of Eurythmy is the visible manifestation of the art of listening to heart-speak through gesture and spatial expression and embodying the inner essence and qualities of color, by giving them form through stretching and contracting. Eurythmy’s practice aims to awaken in the human soul, birthing a feeling of being alive and to develop humanity’s relationship with the spiritual dimensions of life.
This exhibition marks a significant evolution from my initial body of work, ‘At This Moment’. Through my paintings, I seek to articulate the emotions existing within a particular hue. Each piece is a visual language, conjuring memories and meditating on the sensory experience of the places I once stood, illuminated by the feelings of those moments.
I hope that each artwork resonates as a snapshot in time, inviting the audience to connect with the emotions and stand alongside me in their own recollections. However, this exhibition is intricately tied to Rudolf Steiner’s color theory. The back room at Ki Smith Gallery provides a unique, enclosed space—a large rectangle that excited me tremendously when I first encountered it. I envisioned it as a setting for individuals to become fully immersed in the evolution of color.
Upon entering the gallery, you’re greeted by four medium-sized pieces showcasing the four primary hues that form the bedrock of the world of color: Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue. This deliberate choice serves to acknowledge the foundational importance of my color education and the emphasis placed on these hues. These foundational colors form the basis of a comprehensive understanding of the color spectrum. Steiner believed that through the interplay of these primary colors, an array of secondary and tertiary shades could be created, encompassing the vast spectrum of colors we perceive in the world around us. This theory not only informs artistic expression but also serves as a profound insight into the inherent harmony and balance within the natural world.
The show, however, commences with Yellow then moves anti- clockwise, concluding with Blue. Mirroring the softer, warm tones commonly found in early childhood classrooms within Steiner schools. It then progresses into the middle spectrum, embracing the verdant greens and serene blues typically associated with fourth and fifth grade. Yet, on the central wall, the two middle pieces serve as a pause—a breath.
These two large pieces are of blue and yellow. Blue and yellow symbolize polarities, and in life, we rely on these polarities when we seek to understand the world in terms of dynamic forces. Just as the yellow radiates within the blue sky, these works represent the inward and outward motions that transcend the celestial canvas. The sun finds its place in our hearts while the azure expanse envelops us. One piece invites us to center ourselves in feeling, while the other encourages us to feel the periphery.
How does the theme of “Eurythmy” resonate with your artistic style and vision?
My practice originates from my education at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, where the understanding of color was intrinsic to the ethos; the seasons provided a deep understanding of how light and color penetrate our beings. I believe this engagement with each color in its pure form has manifested within me a sensory relationship with color and how it feels; not just seeing but feeling the tones that live within an object, element, or place and in each breath. The paintings are of raw linen and pigment powders, where the pigment imbibes the raw linen, allowing the color its own expression. The colors that emerge onto the canvases for each work are formed from deep contemplation and observation of the surrounding world, the universal language of absence and presence, remembrance, and of hope and healing and essentially being human.
Eurythmy holds the resonance of the natural world’s imprint on our beings and explores the indivisible nature of color, gesture, and soul. The work seeks to unfold the individual pulse within each color, while also connecting the viewer with our intuitive being; in doing so, it enables a deeper attunement to the subtle energies, ultimately fostering greater empathy, compassion and contributing to the evolution of humanity towards greater unity and harmony.
My education was an exploration of nature in every sense, we ventured into Central Park daily, no matter the weather and experienced learning through a deep connection to the seasons and the nature of being. I wanted to tap into the profound influence of Steiner’s philosophy on my youthful self. Eurythmy, crafted by Rudolf Steiner, is a form of human expression choreographed to music, poetry, or speech. During my time in school, I felt a strong resonance with it, embracing the outward manifestation of my inner energy. It is only today, through my creative practice, that I’ve been able to forge my own voice and unite the two worlds that I hold deeply within – that of movement and color.
What emotions or messages do you hope to convey through the paintings in “Eurythmy”?
In “Eurythmy,” I hope for individuals to feel the profound impact of color, to embrace the distinct experience of each shade as a vibrant entity with its own unique energy and influence. It’s my hope that viewers can connect with these colors on a personal level, allowing the artwork to evoke emotions, memories, and a deeper sense of connection to the world around them. Ultimately, to inspire a heightened awareness and appreciation for the intricate interplay of color and feeling in our lives.
Are there any particular pieces in “Eurythmy” that hold special significance to you?
The process of creating “Eurythmy” has been unlike any other body of work I’ve undertaken. I forged a particularly strong connection with the underlying theory, and these pieces emerged from a place of deep intuition and a palpable inner pulse. They seem to encapsulate a convergence of emotions, memories, and the essence of the colors in a way that feels particularly profound and personal. The show for me is that of a whole and resonates with me on a deeply intrinsic level, each piece serving to connect with the other.
Tell us about the colors used in these paintings. Do they help tell the story you are presenting in these pieces?
In the process of crafting this body of work, I revisited the art of blending primary pigments to produce additional shades, such as lilacs, violets, and oranges. This approach allowed for a broader spectrum of colors to be incorporated into the pieces.
Within the space, there are eight pieces, each delving into the progression of consciousness through a sequence of colors: black, red, blue, yellow, green, indigo, and violet. My aim was to bring the vibrant hues of nature into the physical realm through painting. By doing so, one can experience them individually and gain a deeper understanding of how each color impacts our beings in its unique way.
Did you seek inspiration from NYC for these paintings?
When I first arrived in New York, I became fixated on Blue. The particular shade of Blue that characterizes New York holds an intriguing charm. It’s not just a simple hue; it’s a complex amalgamation of emotions and stories. This blue, like the city itself, is a tapestry woven with threads of history, dreams, and aspirations. As I navigated this new world of color, I couldn’t help but feel like an explorer charting uncharted waters. The blue of New York is more than just a visual sensation; it’s a sensation that stirs memories, ignites inspiration, and awakens a sense of belonging. It’s a hue that evolves with the shifting tides of time, from the dawn’s first light to the twilight’s gentle embrace. In the heart of the city, this blue comes alive in myriad forms. It dances across the sky, painting a backdrop for the towering skyscrapers that reach for the heavens. It reflects off the shimmering surfaces of glass and steel, mirroring the constant motion of the urban landscape. It resonates within the bustling streets, where the pulse of life intertwines with the rhythm of the city’s heartbeat.
Tell us the story behind the studio space you have been working in.
Until now I have been painting in Sydney, where the light has a vivid quality, now producing my exhibition ‘Eurythmy ‘in New York, there is somehow a glow in the light shining through the windows of my studio. The connection between the elemental nature of my painting to my workspace is natural light and space. My work needs to breathe and be amid illumination as it changes throughout the day, being ‘of nature’ there is a connection that occurs as I paint with the space and the light where this occurs.
I have a deep connection to the space as it is housed in the same building as where I lived for a significant part of my childhood. The studio is that of Tom Wool, who has photographed me and my work for “Eurthmy“, he and his family are dear family friends, so having them as neighbors has made returning feel like an embrace. It is a building that is very special to me, with views of the Empire State Building and other New York landmarks , somehow is transportive to that time of my magical childhood.
What has been the best part about living and working in NYC this time
I’ve been more intimately involved in my creative process than ever before, as I share a space with my paintings and feel them becoming. This closeness has significantly enriched my practice. As I prepare dinner, I have a small window in my kitchen that offers a view of the works. I observe them in varying light, often pausing in my cooking to engage in a conversation with them about potential adjustments. Likewise, while lying in bed, I might discern a form taking shape, illuminating a connection to pursue. I felt a profound unity, a oneness, throughout their creation process. Their essence and energy are forever entwined with mine, an enduring connection that continues to inspire and inform my artistic journey.
What’s next for Indivi? Are you staying in NYC for long? Where are you headed next?
Just as New York’s Blue is never the same from one moment to the next, my creative expression, too, will evolve and transform, guided by the currents of inspiration and the passage of time. Through my work, people are transported to their own place of meaning and feeling. Ending this year with a show in New York leaves me excited for the potential that is in front of me. As for my plans in the city, I’m currently relishing my time here and soaking in all the energy and people I love about NY. I will return to Sydney for the holidays as I was traveling from November 2022 to March 2023 and since been in New York, so sometime on the beach and with family is calling. NYC has been a deeply influential chapter in my journey, and I’m eager to see where the currents of inspiration will lead me next. For now, I am so grateful to be fully embracing and living completely in this precious moment of the present.
You can keep up with Indivi Sutton @indivisutton.