I don't remember any signs, during my childhood, which could have definitely predicted my becoming a painter-sculptor. I was the youngest child in the family. I was a lonely child who had adjusted to aloofness, enjoying it and hating it alternately. Living in a house which was amidst a jungle, about a kilometer from the road from where, I thought, the 'World' started. From the house, a 'pukdandi' led me through the jungle to the World and from the World to my house.
My first relationship in my life, outside my house, began with this jungle. I took the jungle in me through the window and from the terrace of my house. It tempted me and whenever I came out of my house, it engulfed me, as if to take the responsibility to prepare me to face the world. The jungle was never consistent in its behavior towards me—it changed its moods during the day and the behavior when seasons changed. The jungle, sometimes let me feel its love, care and indulgence. It provided me the cover of cool shade when I walked through it, returning from school in the hot summer afternoon—allowed me to explore it, let me climb the trees, pick flowers, listen to the conversations and the music of the birds. Sometimes the jungle taunted me, even scared me, —let a snake pass in front of me. It lengthened the shadows of the trees, allowed the howling wind pass through it, when I had to cross it at night to reach my house.—But always in the end, asked the full moon to peep through the branches of the trees, slowed down the wind,—made a flower drop on my way—and guide me home on the 'pukdandi'. Somewhere, sometime during this relationship with the jungle, I think, the desire to express was born in me. I had no medium at my command to express and the urge got buried somewhere.
Amidst my relationship with the jungle, the world began to change very quickly. The country was partitioned.We fled leaving the jungle behind. I saw a group of people killing one helpless person. I met people who had a compulsion for lying and who planned to harm their dear ones, friends and children, but were accepted as innocents. Urge to express came back and I took a conscious decision to express myself through the medium of painting and later in sculpture. The journey of my expression through art has been similar to the journey of contemporary Indian art after Independence—of derivation, of introspection and of discovering ones own creative visual imagery for expression.
I started as a painter but later included sculpture also, as form of my expression. This inclusion has not been abrupt but has evolved over the years. On the way ,I started making hard-edge paintings. These were abstract derivations with ritual connotations. Third dimension crept in my works at this stage. Around this time ,I felt that my works of this period developed an aloof personality of their own after they were completed. I became stranger to them and they stranger to me. They existed, were accepted and I existed separately. I chanced making some figurative sculptures and found that some part of creative and emotional mine gets intensely infused in my sculptures. I no more became stranger to my sculptures. A togetherness developed and continues, whenever we confront each other. In our different moods and shades of thoughts, we communicate our and humanity's joys, sorrows, conflicts and emotions. I created environment for my sculptures to live and found they were content, more vocal and expressive. I provided for some, organic environment and they accepted it and started growing with the growth of the environment. A mention of my sculpture, Mankind 2110 (An alternative) exhibited in the Fifth Triennale India will explain the role of environment as part of my sculptures, better. A bronze figure of Devi with many arms, on a log of wood suspended horizontally from the ceiling, is walking to descend to a growing paddy field below. The paddy plants grew in height with passing of each day and swayed with the breeze. The paddy field provided environment and the sculpture achieved a total experience of a spiritual happening in nature. The green of the paddy field embarked me on the adventure of using colour in three dimension in company of my later sculptures.
Drawing for me is a complete expression and a vehicle to arrive at my sculpture and at my painting. My drawing, to me, is an assurance. These drawings begin to exist independently and along with my sculptures and paintings. My concern in the drawing, in sculpture and in painting, is human figure or human face. Elements of environment and concern, I feel, are needed to surround these to provide them context, stature validity and contemporariness. I draw, when a compulsion ceases me. I draw more by instinct rather than by the tenants of formal training to draw, with any instrument or tool capable of drawing. The operation starts with a dot or a line or a blot created with the help of a medium. Then a coordination of instinct, fingers holding the tool or a brush and the medium develops. During this process, a moment comes when a ray of energy flows out of my innerself, through my fingers to the drawing. The drawing is complete and I recognise it —some part of my creativity and emotion gets intensely infused in the drawing. The erotic in the drawings has symbolic presence similar to Shiv-ling in the temple or the allotted location of panels of erotic sculptures in the scheme of the structure of a temple to guide the devotee, through indulgence, to fulfillment of life circle on earth and beyond.
I rediscovered my painting through my drawing and my sculpture, as if to
complete a circle. Programmed in me, I carry compulsions of my cultural
identity. I am an aggregate of my local, regional and global consciousness.
I am placed in this changing world about to enter 21st century. Man is
going to crowd the world with assembly line produced products.Man has become
a suspect of destroying environment and our cohabitats on earth. He has
enlarged himself beyond this planet and is extending his reach in the universe.Man
will change the world from natural/material work accessories' world to
biological/genetic work specific accessories' world. He will rehabilitate
other planets with these engineered work specific accessories and start
living there by modifying himself. Man has started imagining to master
the universe. He is dreaming of immortality amidst planets. Electronics
media is becoming a super power and is taking control of our physical,
intellectual and emotional responses. It is churning our cultural identities.
It is influencing our needs and choices. Through the advertisements and
the programs inserted inbetween the advertisements, T.V is researching,
recreating and inventing 'Icons', as representatives of our time, life,
desires, dreams and emotions. Celebrity has emerged as the most powerful
and influential icon. One among many types of celebrity icons which are
occupying TV screens is the super model in various forms of presentations.
For many years an 'Icon', an elongated human form, most of the times a
female, has been evolving to take the center stage in my creative visual
imagery in my paintings. This icon resembles super model in content
and thought process. Its reach is from earth to heaven. It dwells amidst
planets, presuming immortality, surrounded by the assembly line produced
products' icons, icons of vanishing cohabitats of this planets and
the icons which I derive from my cultural inheritance to accomplish my
creative visual expression in my painting.
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