It’s been a year since I curated the show Foraged Roots. A group show of four ladies out of which two were my dear students and another a lovely artist friend. On this weekend going through the shots I reflected a little.
It happens to me often. I am asked am I still doing art. My reply is a civil yes, I am. Here I shall elaborate a little about me and my art. Over the years people might have noticed that I have stopped participating in art fairs and all the numerous exhibitions that an artist’s finds themselves invited to participate in. No no, this is not about the organizers and their business model. To each their own. This is more about me and my personal journey.
Yes, there was a point I was doing too many exhibitions and participating in too many art related activities. I was feeling the burn out and I decided to take a deliberate break from it all. It meant a lot of thinking and rethinking. I started spending more time with myself and my thought processes. I did more of experimentation in mediums and techniques. It was a great break from the pressure of creating constantly.
Yes, there is a pressure to create for full time artists as this is our livelihood. For those in a regular job I do not expect you to fathom art and art being a career but trust me it is a career and one that we artists do take very seriously. Imagine just imagine how boring your corporate world would be without all the colour and the much-needed conversation we allow you all.
Coming back to me and my journey. I took that break and studied and taught art. My students who come home to learn stayed with me on this journey and never once asked me why I was not exhibiting. Love them for that. I did some open houses to just stay afloat and make some sales. It was nice to see that people did turn up just to connect and see what I have been up to. I did a couple of exhibitions in which my work was selected to be represented. That did feel good. Not having to pay to participate and instead get paid for the sales. Some other projects, designing and the kind kept creeping up keeping me afloat. And then lo and behold one morning I decided it’s time for me to go back to the wage earner work force after a 17-year hiatus. I must admit it did feel strange at first and so much learning and unlearning to do in the process.
The best part about the job is it allowed me a lot of creative space and designing too. So, in that respect I was still creating every day hands on. Yet every time I got a chance, I painted, drew, played with colours. In fact, the space that it all came from was a free space without the pressures or the need to sell. That itself is a liberating factor. And of course, happy things happen when the state of mind is free and happy. I am now working on another art project which will be time consuming and exhaustive in the months to come and this is outside the job scope so will be on spare time and my ways of giving back to the society through my art.
Apart from this I am also happily looking into my state of being, my mind and creating from the core of who I am. I am essentially a naughty observer and I am bringing some of that naughty self in my art. A big shift from who I used to be in my artworks. They were always commentaries and were serious in tone. So contrary to who I am as a person. Yes, for those of who know me socially can vouch that I can single handily keep a party entertained. It has been a fun journey of understanding the self and then extending that to the artistic expression in the last few years. Am I happily creating? Yes! Am I creating with an objective to showcase? Not sure! I live my life far more spiritually then I used to earlier. I do not chase anything. If things are right for me, they will happen. Meanwhile I can continue my crazy observations and keep doing what keeps me happy and motivated. Art heals the body and the mind and while the health took a beating early this year it was my art and my meditation that helped me get back on to track. So here’s to more naughty observations.