Inspired by India's colours, French artist holds show in city

Inspired by India's colours,  French artist holds show in city

Growing up with artists as parents, Olympe Thomas-Lamotte (31) decided art was the last thing she wanted to do and became a lawyer instead.

Now, the French native is living in Bengaluru and has opened her first art exhibition.

“I was not feeling myself [as a lawyer] and after a few years, I realised that I just had an empty soul. I needed something else,” she said.

Four years ago, the Normandy native quit her job and went on a pilgrimage across Spain and France, known as the Camino de Santiago or the Way of St James.

“I decided to do this as a reflection on myself. Covering 1,600 kilometres with my backpack, alone, thinking of what I wanted to do.”

She decided to go back to her family roots and pursue art. She came to Bengaluru and started painting full time, inspired by the colours and chaos of India.

This month, her first public art exhibition in Bengaluru will go on display at Navrathan’s Antique Art on M G Road. She had held private exhibitions before, but after a friend told her “art is made to be shared”, she decided to find a gallery to show her work.

Her exhibition’s name, Indian Summer, comes from the time of year when autumn starts and the colours begin blooming, she said.

“You don’t know how long it will last. It’s the way I feel when I paint. I’m going into my own world and there are all these colours coming to me.” She will have 16 pieces on display for the month of October.

Olympe has been living in Bengaluru off and on for eight years and moved here to live full time only a couple of years ago. When she first moved to the city, she found adjusting to life tough here. She didn’t know any English, apart from the names of animals and colours and couldn’t communicate with anyone.

“Every day I wanted to cry in my bed and I was like ‘why did you come here? That was a crazy decision’.”

She decided to stay for at least six months and before she knew it, she’d fallen in love with the country, the city and the people.

She started picking up English and met her now-husband, settling into her new life.

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