Monday, 27 September 2010

Catching up.....

My teaching in Bangalore at the CKP painting department was a lovely interlude of four days, with thirteen young people who are all at exciting thresholds of their lives and learning that the key to their freedom is really in their own hands. The optimism with which I approach teaching is a strategy that obliges me to contribute my energies and apply myself to insisting that every student I ever engage with, must believe in themselves. In this lies the potential of a bigger dream which is what it is all about eventually.

Whilst in Bangalore I caught the 25th anniversary show of Sakshi Gallery. This show was a representation of all their main Indian artists and the works on the walls were like old friends gathered together in celebration! My own journey with Sakshi Gallery is twenty years old, and till date it is a precious and special relationship that holds mutual respect, and common agendas and values; which is the real bond within this unique affiliation we have all these years.

I returned to Baroda to a waiting and not sleeping tiger! A project conceived by ARTIGER that invites artists to work on a sculpted fibre glass tiger, these works of art will then be on view in different public locations all over India for four months. These art works will then be auctioned and the entire proceeds will go to the campaign of saving our Indian tiger. So presently a rather majestic seated tiger gazes at all who enter my studio, and the process of transformation through my intervention, is hopefully the magic in the making! Simultaneous to this, 52 ceramic hearts that I have conceived are being fired and glazed in the Ceramic Centre located in the Gorva industrial estate of Baroda. I have the most dedicated facilitators for this ceramic project, who quite literally have put their own lives on hold, to hold my heart in their hands! The joy of these two projects is that it allows me to wander into spaces of thinking through new devices of deliverance, which for those who know me, is something I delight and revel in.

I also recently delivered a lecture Women Artists of India : Voices of Strength at the Women's Study Centre in the Faculty of Family and Community Sciences. A small room packed with an attentive audience made the effort of finding those extra hours in my schedule to honour this commitment, truly worth while. I am presently working on a short presentation for a forum at CEPT in Ahmadabad where I have been invited to talk about the process of an work from it's inception to its place within a public domain. So once again I am connected to a deadline that is looming rather ominously at me!
Yesterday was daughters day! My spiritual daughters fill my space with the radiance of their energy and empowerment all the year round, and my adopted grand-daughter Aditi becomes more special each day that she grows. One of my spiritual daughters came to my studio with a bunch of ivory white roses at dusk and said " I just wanted to give this to you". Whilst watching each of them unobserved as they live in the collective we have in our home, I know the power of nurtured energies and the benefit of optimism as a gift to another.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


I have horrified my son over the last few years by having It's the time to Disco as my ring tone! To make matters worse, I have my ring tones at a decibel level that is ear shattering and it has often been the trigger of cringing sessions in public for my family, as this Bollywood masala tune would pop up when least expected; and my phone would invariably choose in such moments to bury itself in my bag as though it wanted to play the game of treasure-hunt with me! I was a loyal and devoted fan of this phone jingle but then..... Shakira wiggled her way into my life! I was hooked and smitten in the blink of an eye!!!!

Now not being so tech savvy I guess I missed my chance of getting into the Waka-waka mode at the right time (typical!), and then suddenly all the Waka-waka ring tone people become snooty snobs (!!!) who would watch me salivate and jiggle in my chair like a wind-up toy with a malfunctioning battery, as the Waka-waka chorus would activate my dance system into action! Bobbing like a melting jello was beginning to become the next cringing moment for my friends and family and so the "save my mother's image campaign" was secretly started by my son. However what he managed to download for me as I quivered in anticipatory delight believing I had hit the music jack-pot was not my Waka-waka refrain ..... and so John Travolta and the disco nostalgia remained the order of my existence uninterrupted.

And then voila! On my return from my Nair wedding experience yellow sari and all, I had my mobile spirited away by one of our spiritual children, the moment I got back from the airport. In the flurry of activity that rules our home it isn't anything unusual for the children to use my things, so I thought nothing of it......and THEN......Waka-Waka.......!!!!!! So I am now an official convert!!! Therefore be prepared, the next time you meet me I will wiggle up to you and do a namaste ala Ms. Shakira ishtyle, so don't be too surprised! It is called multi-cultualism!!!
Now there is a new cringing moment for the family.....I don't immediately answer my phone when it rings. Instead I bob about furiously to my Waka-waka tune and only when dancy-dancy need feels fulfilled, I answer the call. The silent horror and embarrassment of my family is studiously ignored by me!
Well I have one life and bob and dancy-dancy I must , so bare with it but don't you DARE grin!!!