Leicester based Vanita Harish Rao - painter, video maker and graphic artist .
"My interest in visual art began as a child. When I was about 15 I started painting large canvases and carried that on through college, usually working on 10ft canvases. I was originally inspired by the natural world and particularly by Monet. It was strange because I began painting in a similar style and then I discovered his work. It was such a great surprise. My more recent works have been inspired by Hindu iconography. I've also done a number of commissions including some for public buildings.
It was easy for me to train as an artist because my family were so supportive. My father is a photographer and much of my own work has been about photography and video work. I find that I'm more and more interested in combining my painting work with digital images. The large picture as part of the Charnwood Arts 'Who do You Think You Are?' project is an example exploring what my cultural heritage means to me. My current work involves freelance photography and video and I'm keen to develop as a community artist.