Radium light artist’s journey: Trailblazing art form in large canvases to tell illuminating stories
The 32-year-old resident of National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) locality in Wanowrie took up a full-time profession in sand and light art after completing his engineering from MIT College of Engineering, Kothrud in 2011
The passion path of Vivek Patil is like that of any other engineering student whose calling and longing to be creative took form after securing the degree. The 32-year-old resident of National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) locality in Wanowrie took up a full-time profession in sand and light art after completing his engineering from MIT College of Engineering, Kothrud in 2011.
The support and success he received after participating in the television show India’s Got Talent in 2014 during his college days encouraged him to take up commercial projects and set up a studio.
His approach to storytelling through various art forms has captivated audiences and critics alike. “I’ve always been drawn to art as a means of conveying stories. During my college days, I dabbled in theatre, using the stage to present narratives. Little did I know that this experience would become a stepping stone for my artistic evolution,” Patil said.
Patil’s artistic voyage took an unexpected turn when he delved into the world of speed painting and sand art. With no formal training available, he turned to online video hosting platform, where he stumbled upon the teachings of Ukrainian artists Ileana Yahav and Galitsya Tetiana by watching their YouTube videos. These unconventional art forms kindled a creative fire within him, laying the foundation for what was to come. The spark for radium light art was ignited during his theatre days.
In the world of theatre, precision and timing are paramount, and they used radium markings for blackout changes. This is when Patil realised that radium could be used not just for practical purposes, but also as a means of artistic expression. The journey was not without its challenges. Patil and his team had to figure everything out from scratch, from the type of radium to the lighting and materials. There were no reference points; everything had to be original.
The unforgiving nature of radium posed another challenge - any mistake was irreversible, and the art would fade within minutes. The canvas itself was enormous, measuring 32 feet in length and 8 feet in height, making visibility a constant struggle.
However, Patil’s dedication overcame the limitations. Each artwork takes 5-6 days to complete, with 10-11 rehearsals to synchronise the visuals with music and voiceovers. The materials used include radium sheets and radium canvas, with infrared lights replacing traditional brushes. The uniqueness of the art form lies in its execution - it can only be done in complete blackout conditions.
Explaining the science behind the art, Patil said, “Radium emits photons, which get charged in the presence of light, allowing us to create different shapes. This makes radium art a pure form of expression.”
To stand out, they added animation to the art form, which the team claims is the first animated radium light art form across the globe.
What sets Patil and his team of eight members, including the artist’s wife (creative head), a technical head, co-performers, a content writer, and voiceover artists, unique is the sheer scale of their canvas.
While other radium light artists typically work on smaller canvases, Patil’s creations stretch an impressive 32-feet in length and 8-feet in height.
“We use large canvas because of the time it takes for radium shapes to fade (10-15 minutes) making it easier to draw big and more images. Sectioning of the canvas allows for larger and more visually appealing shapes, especially in blackout conditions. The canvas size is customised based on the story’s duration,” Patil said.
Patil and his team have graced stages worldwide, from India’s Got Talent Season 5 to World’s Got Talent, representing India. Their future plans are equally ambitious, as they aim to diversify their colour palette instead of only using green colour and expand their horizons. Patil cherishes a memorable performance in Mumbai, where he had the opportunity of showcasing his art in front of the renowned entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist Ratan Tata.