For those of you who read my blog, my silence in cyber space has been because I went to Ahmadabad for a workshop with four friends at Prakash Vasi's Platypus design studio, for eight days. Three of the artists were my classmates, and the moment we commenced our work, we were immediately transported back to the intimacy of our college days of studio practice. We have always acknowledged how much we learnt from one another through the symbiotic connection of common interests and goals, and we found that it was no different on this occasion as we sat down like novices once again, aprons in place at a wooden table, to try our hand at ceramics. Though experienced visually as artists regarding the aesthetics and history of ceramics, it was quite another thing to work with it as a medium. It was commented upon that perhaps we feared failure, but I explained that as professionals the desire is to always attempt to bring ones capabilities of proficiency to any such interlude, with the hope of it benefiting new areas of learning.
Working with my classmates was poignantly special. The intense friendship that spans 33 years is born from the trust we have in one another, which is implicit and unquestioned. In today's climate of insecurities and petty misunderstandings that too many artists display, this solid bonding feels so comforting. Judgements and over analysis of one another has no room amidst the sharing we have, and I feel blessed to have them as my friends.
The work we did has yet to be fully finished, because the glazing on it remains. We all took risks and we all worked like the devil was behind us! The joy was in those fumbled moments with each of us encouraging the other on, sometimes a bit like the blind leading the blind! Did we produce great art? I doubt it. But what we did was to push our own parameters of learning that in many ways was not merely about art or just about getting the work done right. It was all that and something so much more than that too. So cheers to our class of 1981, and to many more interludes of meeting up that dot the coming decades! I encounter many young artists who could well do with opening up and allowing trust to build friendships that can sustain them over many years, because believe me, it's a beautiful experience, so try it!