Art, in any form, breathes life into me; I find it quite meditative and reflective. “We’re Islands” is a series I started in March when the lockdown began. It is not necessarily a commentary on Covid19 but what I felt during the lockdown confined within the four walls in a foreign land away from the family. I have used watercolours to capture the “fluidity” of the moment; it was not a conscious, pre-meditated choice though. Choosing the medium is always intuitive. some times it does depend on what I choose as a subject. I have also used polychromos, inktense pencils, white gel pen and Pitt pen to achieve the desired effect. I apply washes and then work on layers to get the raw-rustic effect instead of the refined look. I have chosen a limited palette here, a couple of warm and cool colours as I like the mix of both; bright, eye-catchy, palpable colours in most of them to suggest a distinctive, dreamlike introspective emotional state or “mindscapes” as I call them from a strong female presence and perspective.
The limitless mind in general and the inner workings of the feminine in particular captivates me the most. Most of my works are autobiographical. Myths, dreams, people and their tales, the emotions and the unbridled feelings kindle my creative juices. The protagonists create parallel realms and enjoy detachment, solitude but they are rarely alone. There’s melancholic melody and are deeply reflective of their emotional states; exuding a sense of passivity but hopeful and optimistic. The interconnectivity of man and nature, the subtle rhythms that beat through the spine of the environment, the invisible thread that ties us all even when man fails to realize it, is what I like to stress. There’s duality as we are complex beings.
My works tend to delve deep within the self, interspersing it with what I hear and/or view from the outside world. How a situation or news hits me is what is reflected in my works. They are stories in layers. At times, there're health instances that quite disturbs my days and processes and overcoming it forms other layers as well. Isolation is nothing new to artists, we actually nurture on it, and yet I craved for home, to be with my family. I suddenly felt trapped, we became units/compartments within the home where one was for school, one for office and I squeezed in between doing art for my own self and sanity.
“We’re Islands” is an ongoing series. It showcases this external and internal turmoil, implications, suffering, and conflict while the lamp of hope is still lambent.
My greatest inspirations are T K Padmini, Amrita Sher-Gil, Paula Rego, Kathe Kollwitz, Frida Kahlo, Lee Krasner, Hilma af Klint, Alice Neel, Paul Klee, Edward Hopper and Aleah Chapin, Lisa Brice and many more.
It is the very thought of not being in inertia, as mentioned earlier, that helped me shape this brainchild of mine - IGNITE-from within the confines-, inspired me to conceptualize and curate the exhibition at this time; one of my pet projects that I was harbouring for a long time finally found light with a group of amazing artists and poets. Though I started it on an impulse to do something worthwhile during this time of confinement, it grew profound each day until I managed a team of 16 and then we set sail. Each day since then had been a learning experience for me - visualizing, organizing, preparing, coordinating, conveying and all the elements that went with an online event.