Interestingly the habits of an everyday schedule are hard to undo so easily, and I found myself over these three weeks often desperately wanting my "studio fix"! However my sister and I had coincided our schedules, and so once again for the first time ever, I was a free bird on her two week visit home from Canada, which was great fun indeed. We saw more movies in these two weeks than I do in an entire year (!) and drove around Alkapuri like two mad hatters, visiting shopping malls and having sister bonding galore; flying over to Mumbai to visit Mithun and Samera for a sleep-over where we all indulged in eating yummy food, window shopping, some splurging, and mostly catching up on family time.
Back in my studio today as my sister wings her way back to cold and snowed-out North America, I am sitting next to some beautiful new books, both bought and presented, that are enticing me to over to sit down for a read. A set of digital photo-image works on paper await the intervention of imagery in water colour being introduced to it's surface, and stretchers and canvas are in the store waiting to be called upon when decisions crystallise. Perhaps it is Begum who is the happiest as she snuggles down in her favourite chair to snooze the afternoon away ....!
Back to work brings out musings that I have tucked away to ponder over.....
Of late I have encountered artists and writers who are past the age of being classified as young or emerging (two terribly over used words in my opinion), whose careers have stalled. What becomes the malaise in all these cases is unfortunate laziness and short-cuts, and then there will always be the slew of excuses about irrelevant personal stuff (sob...sob) that becomes sadly embarrassing to say the least, as the protective placenta of reason. It is rather puzzling because it has not been for the lack of opportunities. Perhaps not recognising the privilege of receiving may also be one of the problems.
What finally becomes apparent in many such cases is the desire on the part of the individual for the "event" alone : whether it is the exhibition, the residency, the book deal etc.; and where little consideration for the substance of work or the space of self-growth is ever comprehended as essential, above all else. I observe people who spend too much of their time looking up " where next to go" without realising that travel and relocation must occur from pointed necessity, rather than a random game of darts where wanderings leave us more lost than before.
Critical spaces are shrinking in this ever growing political correctness and the over individualised societies we live in, resulting in less honesty amongst peers. The goals often feel less about the quality of work and more about half-baked ideas that do not go through their required gestation to become significant, and hold meaning. Call me harsh in my assessment, but agony aunt I refuse to be! I am always there for genuine cases where support and nurturing benefit; but when hard work does not evidence itself, then I am not going to buy any hard luck story simply because it is being dumped at my doorstep!
Standard is accessible to all once you are equipped with the privilege of education and opportunities. I use with deliberation the word privilege because every child unfortunately does not always have the chance to go to an educational institution. So those of us who have been nurtured by such spaces of learning must recognize the difference it should offer us. If we choose to ignore the rules that give us access to this area of self-development where standard and quality are the yard sticks of achievement, then we have only ourselves to blame. However in the conversations I have had with those who are falling off the wagon, I hear the echoes of blame and victimisation all too clearly. Some one needs to remind them to walk the talk. I have said it before and I say it again at the cost of sounding repetitive, hard work is the only road to self-fulfilment ...if this is done, most often, all else falls into place.