Saturday, 22 May 2010

At the heart of the matter....

My studio has always been the central hub of the house; perhaps because when we initially lived in smaller spaces, all the rooms were interconnected; and in close proximity of one another. But if truth be told, this isn't the real reason that my studio has always been (and till today), remains the cockpit of the home. I say this because many of my friends and colleagues who are writers and artists or who have jobs where they work from home, find ways to isolate themselves away from the routine of daily life; and prefer to have a separation between their work and other factors of their lives. For me I have chosen otherwise, and though on some days I feel a bit frazzled, I know without a doubt that I would never feel as fully alive and enriched, without the rhythm of the world around me parading it's existence.

I don't know whether this situation of allowing the world of my studio to co-exist with all else around me, occurred because I went to college each day of my (medically rather difficult)pregnancy; and further insisted upon being back in my studio in college four days after my delivery. Or whether the simple practicality of having my studio as the central base made it easier to be an artist when I was multi-tasking, and thereby not compromising on the many worlds that define my personal existence. I don't really have the answer, but what I do know is that it has always been a structure that keeps me free to do all that I choose to, and this is personally very satisfying.

It was amusing to many that whilst I was hunched over with abdominal stitches after being operated on only days earlier for a hysterectomy in 1993, I had the hospital corridors lined with paintings and photographs of art works because I was in the middle of curating a show. To me it just seemed so normal and I was slightly irritated to imagine that anyone else thought otherwise!

Mithun, and my adopted granddaughter Aditi have each played for hours as children in my studio. Corners of my studio have transformed into garages and race tracks, bowling alleys and marble competitions, dolls schools and concert areas where imaginary audiences silently ask for endless encores! Even today Mithun, when he visits home, will come up in the afternoon to my studio and snooze (all stretched out on the settee that doesn't fit his lanky frame), to channel surfing and read comic books or magazines or just mutate. My mother has her Sunday scrabble sessions in my studio too that often get rowdy with words being challenged and accusations of cheating ranting the air. Countless students have sat all wrapped up sipping hot beverage that range from soups to chocolate milk or horlicks comforters, as I play Florence nightingale to some fever or the other. Sometimes my teaching sessions have students scattered all over my space, drawing or reading.

Yesterday my friend had the blood drained from a jambed finger, and was in pain and just wanted to be home with us. She came home and sat with her bandaged thumb (like little Jack Horner) reading in a corner of my studio, as I painted. She said to me that though she loves every nook and corner of our home, that somehow it was only in my studio that she feels the completeness of her relationship with me. It made sense because my studio really is the heart of my home for me.

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