Idiot Box Cat : Juxta One One Two

Monday 5 November 2018

Juxta One One Two

"Jux-ta-po-si-tion" - the fact of two things being seen or placed together with contrasting effect

Amanda S. Narain is a Toronto based artist who's unique style and brand is nature inspired, spiritual, bohemian, transcendent, energy focused and quite mystical with some of her imagery. 

She makes abstract art, nature art, contemporary boho, illustration art, and fashion art.
She also live paints and does mural work, and has a few dozen shows under her belt both inside and outside of Canada. 

We met at an art event a few years ago and became friends, and I'll let you one thing, she is dedicated! To her craft and her enterprise, and Friday night proved that, and it puts it all into perspective of what she's accomplished, and a glimpse into where she's taking her career. 

The Freedom Factory Toronto 
The Freedom Factory is a gallery in Toronto that is located at 22 Dovercourt Road. It is run by a mother daughter duo, Tiffany and Melanie. They do so much for the community and the artists who are trying to thrive and express themselves by showcasing their works of art, music, business, passion projects, pop-ups, release parties and more. They're a no commission gallery, which means any art sold goes directly to the artists. They also include spiritual practices and healing exercises and yoga classes at their gallery which promotes and helps people revitalize and get in touch with their inner soul and energy. 

I put an exert from Friday night that they posted at the show containing their message. 

Like most events and shows, you meet a lot of people, and some of those people have spaces and opportunities, which enables others to connect, build and grow in the community, and Freedom Factory is one of those spaces that always tries to do their absolute best to make their events as open and welcoming as possible. 

Amanda S. Nairan and The Freedom Factory presents: JUXTA - as in - Juxtaposition 'Alongside Yet In Contrast To' 

So, besides the art, which I will get to in a second, JUXTA also features two musicians of varying degrees, and they both performed a couple of songs that night, which was both inspiring and touching. The mellowness, the somberness and the overall vibes these two musicians were giving off that night made mood of the evening very warm and intimate.

Jennie Laws
Jennie Laws is a Toronto born singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist, her passion for original songwriting reflects on a lifetime of music making and has created many opportunities. She has opened up for Bruno Mars and sang background vocals for INXS and Michael Buble.

Jennie opened up and played us a few songs that night. Her performance was chill, emotionally expressive, smooth, and overall pleasant and engaging, as she really gave us a piece of her soul and positive energy through her performance. 

I spoke to her after her performance and she told me that she's getting ready to release a lot of new music in the next couple of months! 

Check her out: Jennie's Instagram page: Click Here
and her new behind the scenes vid: Click Here (Which also link you to her Youtube page) 

Beddy Diro
Beddy Diro is a singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist from Brampton, Ontario. Influenced by the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote, Erykah Badu, D' Angelo, Justin Nozuka, and eclectically more. From a very young age, she's passionately offered her musical explorations to the world, humbly developing her craft. The essence of her ability to rouse her audience through her magnetic presence and memorizing vocals is a reflection of the desire she has to catalyze love and liberation amongst all beings. Through the experience of her sonic offering, she invites all on the consciousness and self-fulfillment. 

She really did rouse us that night through her musical performance, and many of the influences named in the bio, comes out through her musical expression. The way she sat, and held her instrument, the soft and subtle vocals she sang, and her overall aura that night made everything else feel really close and added another layer to the whole JUXTA experience. 

Check her out: Beddy's Instagram page: Click Here  

Amanda's fashion is the crux of this show, as she's trying to expand the idea of taking her art and infusing it with clothing that is functional and elegant. During the show, she had her models came to display a few pieces for us as she explained what we were being shown. 

The model in the black, sported a hat that can be used a face and neck warmer.

and here we have one of Amanda's models, Pauline sporting the peacock skirt.

Besides showcasing shirts, skirts and head wear, she also makes purses
and scarves, look more peacocks! and don't forget the little panda painting!

With her hands in so many different areas, of design, customization, fashion, painting, illustration, and branding. Amanda seems to really hone in and studies her aesthetic, by adding new and exciting elements that shapes her niche very nicely. 

You don't see too many skyline paintings with the drip, now don't cha? As well as a couple of abstracts that I'm going to discuss. It's almost seems like the opening of an pseudo-art pop-up shop, with the traditional muse of a visual artist, who is sharing what it means to finally see your visions starting to manifest into something that might be bigger than it is sometime in the future. As for now, we're experiencing a showcase of an artist who has been working on a passion of hers since it's inception, and I'm interested to see where it will take Amanda and her art.

I have to say though, she really stepped up on her art game, because her new pieces at this show has a lot of refinement to her style and offers more versatility in Amanda's art kit. Which we will now explore - first off, the ABSTRACTS.

"Love Is"
acrylic on canvas
"48 x 36"

"Just Be"
acrylic on canvas
"36 x 24"

Amanda's combination of earthly and neutral colors, with the airy, light and cooler colors work seemingly well together as it creates a very dynamic and robust constitution. With "Love Is" there is some influence of cubism and futurism, as each of the lines are going in different directions with some lines parallel to each other. The colors are very harmonious together while giving quite a range from light to dark colors, which engages the eyes a lot more for its dynamic style and expression. 

"Just Be" has a very airy and cloudy-like background, the colors are somewhat muted, and on this one Amanda takes a page out of Jackson Pollock's book, and decides to splatter different color paint on top of the airy base, without the intensity, she creates circle/oval like motions on the canvas and letting it "just be" creating an expressive painting that draws the eyes to different corners of the image.

"Energy Source"
acrylic on canvas
"48 x 36"

acrylic on canvas
"48 x 60"

Keep in mind that these paintings aren't the only paintings that were at the show. I decided to show a few of the paintings, in different styles that Amanda has to offer. "Energy Source" is a landscape piece that takes place on a beach, with parting waves of water and a huge puffy cloud that completely takes over the background, and what appears to be light strokes coming from the other side of the cloud. It plays on the idea that such places like the beach and open areas of scenery and environment gives off energy, which helps for re-vitalization and rejuvenation, in my opinion. 

"Visions" was first shown at Amanda's first art show, where she had put it up to be raffled off. one of the many themes in her nature work is the depiction of the lion, and the regal presentation of this particular animal. 

"Alien Child"
   acrylic on canvas
"30 x 40" 


"20 x 24"

acrylic on canvas
"48 x 24"

As for the spiritual and Boho aspect of her work, Amanda is also known for her dot work in her pieces, which I will go into more once we get to her illustrations, but I think it's one of her secrets in making her pieces really come alive as she uses elements of animals, or nature itself and fuses it with the dots, giving it the feeling of energy particles coming together and detailing the image, which send off vibes of spirituality in her works. 

"Alien Child" is a portrait piece of a colorful silhouette of an alien-like figure with toned down colors of different hues of blues and purples in the background as well as shades of black and grey on the left side of the painting. It reminds me of the northern lights the way she creates the rocking motions of the white paint contrasting the darker hues that bounces off the dot work. It also looks like the alien silhouette is infused with the ground in the image. 

"Portal" is a smaller abstract piece that has a warmer feel to it, as she uses the primary colors to create a flavorful sway by making them coexist with each other, without letting one color dominate over the others, maintaining each identity of colors. 

"Still" is one of those pieces that represents spirituality in a few different aspects. First we have an elephant depicted. Elephants are a symbolism for different things in certain cultures. In Hindu, an elephant is found in the form of a "Ganesha". It's primary symbolic meanings are as follows: Pride, power, dignity, royalty and reliability. In China, the Elephant is a Chinese symbol which represents: Happiness, good luck and longevity. On the elephant we can see that it has all seven chakras, from it's trunk to the top of it's head. If you don't know the meaning of what the chakras represent or what chakras are, this link Click Here will explain them to you. 

A bamboo stick, a leaf, a couple of rocks and a candle is also depicted, which plays on the idea of healing practices like yoga and reiki and other forms of spirituality (which also goes together with Freedom Factory's spirituality themes). "Love and to be loved" can be seen written in white and sprinkled across the painting, which can promote the idea of self-love or universal love by allowing yourself to heal and to be healed through practicing to allow yourself to let go and allow for the transfer of positive and uplifting energy. 


stripped ink
"8.5 x 11"

"my song"

stripped ink
"8.5 x 11"

"Love song"
stripped ink
"4 x 6"

stripped ink
"16 x 20"

So, I have to touch one some of the illustration pieces before I end this post, and I want to talk about the dot work I had mentioned earlier on. As, the dot work is one of Amanda's staples in her art work it gives a very rough but also clean look to her works. The range in how close together and spaced out each cluster of dots are situated is also another thing to note, which is really telling for Amanda's use of intensity, as you see in the "Che" piece for example. Especially when it comes to the use of color like in the piece "Stargazer"

stripped ink
"8 x 10"

Amanda also has a couple figure drawings from the days of college also in the show. 

So, the concept of the overall show is to showcase a 'Juxtaposition', in which Amanda gives you three different styles of artwork, that all correlate to each other, while maintaining it's own genre individually. From the set up, to the music, the art and the fashion, really gives a sense of allowing contrasting ideas to live in one space and to breathe life into an artist's ability to conceptualize variety in a way that allows the appreciation of artistic ability in one artist. 

You know what they say, "variety is the spice of life" and Amanda has sprinkled the spice of variety, and contrast into this wonderful showcase of sorts. As she's starting to fully embrace fashion as one of the rising frontiers in her career, I hope to see more unique fashion ideas from her and hoping to see where she will take her art as well, since she's literally taking her traditional methods of making art and transferring it to different mediums, fabrics, textiles and more. 

with that being said,

Follow Amanda S. Narain on all of her socials
Instagram: Click Here
Facebook: Click Here
Website: Click Here

and also Follow The Freedom Factory on their socials
Instagram: Click Here
Website: Click Here
Facebook: Click Here

...and that was the JUXTA experience. 

Catch you on the flip side, folks! 

Paint-Life. 2018. 


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