Friday, 13 December 2013

Matters of the Heart ….on at Sakshi Mumbai till the 31st of December 2013

The privilege of birth and the gift of education impacted itself upon me from a very young age. A much desired girl-child I have carried the legacies of a female history with a conscious alertness which led me, very early in my personal journey, to a space of belonging that formulated my feminist ideology and the spirit of deliverance of my energies.

Art is a process of transmutations. Where translations and transpositions trace the outer world to the inner consciousness and vice versa, thereby making an elaborate tapestry of contextualized belonging. It is a space where the recognizable alters to become the receptacle of new meanings, and where human experience then becomes the bridge of empathy that allows the viewer to find their connectivity.

I have often described the territory of my ideas as being like a small garden patch, much loved and faithfully nurtured. This is because I hold a consistent desire to examine the feminine space of survival, the spirit of endurance and the empowerment of pride and self dignity that centuries of feminist oral histories are infused by; and which cast their shadows for me to find my resting space within.

As an artist the most liberating lesson learnt is that ones own sense of belonging is held in multiple histories that form the stories of the world. And it is the curiosity of wanting to know about the unknown that beckons us through the doorways of many new discoveries. But like all sensible travelers each of us needs to carry along in this journey the memories of our own origins. For in doing so we will then never fear getting lost.

The assimilation of a personal language involves many influences gathered and many areas of teachings resisted; and between this tightrope act of balancing what to absorb and what to reject, an informed and critical aesthetical space is finally arrived at. Within this territory of the female world that informs my concerns, I observe the rituals of confronting daily life that require for us to measure our valor and vulnerability with wisdom. Each of us in our moments of reflection will know the value of this double-edged sword.

The energies that we place ourselves central to forms a grid, patterned by incidents and histories that demand our participation willingly or otherwise. As artists we often become the chroniclers of larger narratives that hold both the particularity of our lives as well as a wider world of information.

I believe that a pictorial language revolves around the engagement with re-examining tradition and modernity within the contexts of changing requirements. I delight in drawing and so lines define the shape within my work by out-lining the contours of the images blatantly or by the evoking the line from the starkness of shape itself.  Whilst painting, the magic of conjuring as the brush trails its mark on a blank surface holds both the edge of terror and excitement simultaneously.

The female figure, often in isolation, becomes the presence that bears witness to the passage of time. Embodied through the centuries with the energies that hold the continuums of being a life giving force, I place the female figure as the central focus to be encountered.  

The unflinching gaze and the frontal posture of the female figures demand that the viewer is obliged to participate in an engagement with its presence.  Stark and arresting in demeanor these female figures or large heads with their unrelenting gaze, are like protective guardians of the universe.

The photographic image reappears after I put down my camera twenty-eight years ago. A series of personal occurrences brought back the affinity I once had with the camera and I resumed taking photographs once again. The bodies of my female protagonists now become the site of retrieval of personal histories. Retraced like mapped terrains the contours of these figures are extracted from previous paintings, archived like from an archeological survey. The montage of images lace together to then become the second skin.

What I desire above all else is in fact the deliverance of my own honesty to myself.  Where my art and my life are seamed together and hold the image of representation uncompromised and unfettered. My art exits finally severed from the umbilical cord that initially defines its articulation; to be then placed in a space of interpretation and discourse, unmonitored by my protection.  It must hold the credibility that molded it, if it is not to be felled into wasteful oblivion.  I can exert no control over any external forces that act upon my work, but what I can do is remain accountable to myself at all times. 

There are hundreds of stories that each of us carry with us. These stories are often matters of the heart which are an amalgamation of truths and desires, memories and histories which in turn are fed each day by the pulse of our lives as we live it. As an artist it is from this ever evolving framework of energies that my ideas are born.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You so much for posting these beautiful intimate photographs of you and your loved ones... If I may express my thoughts, I particularly liked the one where you continue to paint whilst the little one sleeps paisibly on your shoulder... and it makes me feel that he, in his special way, passes on to you, love, inspiration and renewed energy!
    Please accept my heartiest congratulations for the success of this exhibition!
    A special thought of love to Mataji, I can imagine her joy to see the family bloom and grow...
    Best Wishes as the end-of-the-year fesivities start shortly.