Reached Summit (Chader trek) and back, and I was happy that I did it. On way back home, I visualised about the small luxuries of life like water coming from tap, taking hot water bath, to eat warm food, being with family, to sleep in warm bed, etc. As I reached home after a long journey, I didn't know, tragedy was waiting.
The morning I reached home, at about 7 AM, I was talking to my Mom, She took her morning medicine and also ate a piece of garlic (to keep her blood pressure in control). And the garlic got stuck in her throat, and she was not even able to take the saliva in. I called my brother, and we rushed to hospital. Suddenly the doctor told us that it was a matter of life and death. I don't have words now, to share what I was feeling and the pain she was going through. She was taken to Operation theatre, and that was the longest hour of my life. Operation was successful and she got fine. I thank God and I forgot about all my physical / emotional problems. After 2 days at hospital, she was back at home and tragedy ended.
Now it was time for some magic.
Next day, I got a call from my friend Aneesh Mitra, asking if I will be interested in displaying my artworks at TEDx Mumbai, as they are having an artist corner. Without thinking much, I welcomed the opportunity. As it was my first exhibition, my friends helped me in preparing for it.
Esha Mittal helped me with frames and Raj Mitra helped me in designing the small hand-out diaries instead of visiting cards. I didn't expect any sale in the exhibition as it was more of non-profit and for display purpose.
However far I have reached in my journey, it is because of the combined efforts of my family, friends, strangers I meet online, their words - appreciation / criticism, etc and I am always thankful to you all.
Combing back to the magic part. I have to travel to Mumbai from Surat via train with 5 paintings of size (3x2 ft); all with heavy wooden frames. My brother helped me at Surat station, but I have to handle all myself then onwards. I don't know, from where I got the energy to lift all 5, and people helped me in between (seeing a 5ft small girl lifting them all :) ).
Exhibition went well and I met many people there. While packing up, I was bit sad as deep inside I wanted atleast one to sell, as I have to survive and now I have to carry them all back home. But, then I comfort myself that it is the start and I have to create more and grow as an artist.
As I was taking the paintings out from the TEDx ground, a group of around 15-20 people with cameras in their hand were approaching me. Mr. Vinay Parelkar, founder of Vineye Photo School (VPS) (India’s leading photography education institute), came with his students for some photography in the garden, He saw me (artist with her paintings), and asked me if I can pose with my artworks. His students will get their subject. I agreed, and i was posing with my art, and 20 people were clicking me together (flash flash flash...all at the same time). That moment was magical for me..my red carpet moment and I knew inside, that i was on the right path and this is my journey. Below is the photo clicked by Mr. Vinay, it is one of the magical moment of my life.
Some day you will look back and know exactly why it had to happen
I remember, 1st January 2018, as the New Year begins, I immersed myself In the world of colors and was working on a painting. I took the pressure of creating a masterpiece, as I wanted it badly. I have to justify my decision of quitting my well-paid job. But as you know...Art is Art....it is from the heart. You can't create a masterpiece in pressure, like you can't fall in love by force or in pressure. It takes it's own time and no matter the research done, you cannot put in your logic.
Since the time I remember, I always like to go out, either for work, hangout with friends, for any activity, etc. But with this change in career, I was back at home (after working in Corporate life for 8 years). It was difficult, I was not used to this changed routine though it was my decision to switch.
And apart from all this, I was also struggling in my personal life with heart ache. And with nowhere to go, this heartache was getting strong.
People say in order to distract yourself from one problem, invent a bigger problem.
So with my problems of heartache and this home routine, I got the opportunity to go on a Chader trek. A blanket of snow is formed on Zanskar river in Ladakh during winter, and the trek is a trail of 105 km (one way). It takes about 9 days to complete it. And I thought that this trip and some physical hardship wall ease the heartache. I thought that i could freeze the pain at -30 degree celsius. But noooooooooo.....pain is not water. i was wrong. At -30degree Celcius, at high altitude, along with the emotional pain, other pains get escalated.
You just have to keep walking to keep yourself warm. Nights are scary, as the harshness of cold gets bitter and it is difficult to sleep. You can't roam, you can't turn, as you will lose the slight warmth of the sleeping bag. You see the darkness with your eyes wide open. You hallucinate with all your fears coming live. You have to accept it, whatever it is and once you accept, things starts turning better.
Acceptance is what was required. Once you accept, you can see the starts in that darkness. You start feeling less cold, you walk more and get tired and get better sleep. And this is the way you Survive. And life is all about Survival.
Survival on 92x92 cm canvas (SOLD)
This painting is about Survival. And is surviving on the wall of Prathamesh Soni, a friend, an artist, who put his emotions in words in the form of poetry.
The night had only grown. Fifty-nine minutes past four, I could feel the rotation of the Earth in the blitzkrieg of the stars, in the whirl of the winds. I could feel the seasons shift in the percussion of the heart beating, in the waving of the pendulum's swinging.
It was all in motion.
The hazy constellation. The moon's aberration. The sun's hibernation. The time's reincarnation.
Read me your Bible, Hallelujah to your disciple, scriptures conviction, the only truth's crucifixion.
Stars fade. Moon's escapade. Dawn's revival. Another Survival.
5 A.M. . -P.S.
Presenting "Survival" by @atignasart. It's very essence is in the hope it splays onto our souls that life goes on. It goes on.
"Art conveys ideas and emotions that are difficult to put into precise words"
I started with “Acceptance” painting at Piramal Museum of Arts, in their open studio. They had a weekly residency program for emerging artists. The space was in the centre of the Corporate offices, with people coming to interact in between. To be precise, there was lot of distraction to connect myself with my own emotions.
Work in progress image of the painting from the studio. Date 3rd April, 2019
Not just Artists, but everyone likes to work in solitude, in their own space. Even I do, but while creating this piece of work, I realised that I have no control over external environment. All I need is to control my mind, I have to disconnect my mind from the people around, and focus on what the painting is demanding.
And this is how “Acceptance” got created.
Created this in public space by disconnecting myself amidst the crowd. Date: 8th April, 2019 (7th April was my last day at the Residency)
Amidst the uncertainty, everyone is looking for the right answer. But there is no right answer. Abstract art is similar. It differs from person to person and there is no one meaning.
An artist might have created it with something in mind, depending on his/her emotions, but you can have a completely different view about it, or have no view at all. Abstract Art is not about understanding, it’s about a feeling. Your view will also change, as you change with time and that’s the beauty of it.
Most of the things in Nature are abstract, though we have given various names to the abstract forms of Nature now.
Clouds are abstract. They don’t have any fixed form, but looking at them helps us imagine. It is a beautiful feeling looking at clouds and we don’t try to understand them. We accept them as they are. I love looking at clouds, I love creating forms with them, the colors and the forms of clouds makes me in awe with nature.
Another example is trees. Sitting below the tree, and looking at the tree..branches and leaves, is a magical feeling. They don’t form any fix pattern, however our imagination can create an infinite number of forms from this abstraction. We call this abstraction of Nature as trees :) Similarly, the oceans, mountains, continents on planet earth, forest, galaxy and the list goes on.
“We come from darkness and end in darkness. All the colors exist in between”
By definition, abstract artworks are the ones where the main color theme is black (or a very dark tone of grey). Some people might think black abstract paintings are dark or ominous. The “darkness” or “blackness” of the painting may also convey actual darkness or the night time. Black is associated with power, fear, mystery, strength, elegance, formality, death, evil, aggression, authority, rebellion, and sophistication. Black is required for all other colors to have depth and variation of hue.
“Darkness is in the end, darkness is in the beginning;
Black is the absence of light and it is the source of it;
It is the negative but also the birth of positive;
It is fear and it makes your fearless
It is the black that makes the light white”
1. ‘Tribute’ (62x62 cm canvas) is about paying tribute to the recent ‘George Floyd’ incident
3. ‘About Last night’ (92x62 cm on canvas) - The reason I named it 'About last night', because last night was all about it. It took me around 8 hrs to complete this. But sometimes you get in the flow to complete it in one sitting and your soul is so hungry, that you can't leave it in between.
I am a little scared of waking up in the morning nowadays. I am afraid to pick up my phone and get the news updates, to turn on the television, thinking about the incidents that have been taking place in the world while I am sleeping comfortably in my bed.
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has also been facing challenges like earthquake, cyclone, locust attack, airplane crash, wildfires, floods, riots, volcano eruption amongst many others. As if these natural attacks were not enough, the inhuman behaviour against George Floyd and as a result the protests and riots in America also shocked me. Two days back, the visuals of a policeman removing the mask of a protestor and spraying pepper-spray shook me from inside. I don’t know how the virus has been behaving among the protestors and policemen in the last few days.
Looking at the number of deaths and distress because of the virus, hunger, and other calamities, everyday I'm getting more and more troubled mentally. And in the middle of all that, there was news about a few villagers in Kerela feeding a pineapple filled with firecrackers to a hungry pregnant elephant. There was an explosion and the elephant died. And then I see the black post with hashtags “BlackLivesMatter”, all over my social media.
As an artist, the only way to express myself is via my art. And that’s what I did. Here is the picture of the artwork I created today. It took me hours to calm myself, as I reflected all my emotions on the canvas. It should not just be “BlackLivesMatter”, but “EveryLifeMatters”.
History repeats itself, though in different forms. I have created this artwork series, as a different medium to communicate the same thing which the world is saying.
Today's situation is similar to Mahabharata. World is facing a war against Covid-19. Just that, the war is not on the land of Kurukshetra. Whole world is a battleground. We are the ones who have to fight it, like the warriors fight in the battlefield.
In Mahabharata War, Arjuna was faced with the dilemma whether to fight the battle or not, as it will lead to destruction of his family and friends. Arjuna's mind was filled with grief and fear, that got him in this dilemma.
At this, Lord Krishna responds by teaching Arjuna "How to see".... not from his own point of view, but from the point of view of "TIME", in which everyone lives and finally passes away.
Today, our dilemma is to make a choice between Karma and Dharma. Karma is our day to day action, our work, jobs, which gives us identity and earns our livelihood. Whereas, Dharma is our Duty towards Humanity.
The effort that we put in following our Dharma never gets wasted, nor does it hamper our growth. Practicing our dharma, even in the mildest form, saves us from harm, saves the Humanity. To follow Dharma, we need to have self-control and have to make sacrifices.
One who identifies inaction in action and action in inaction is wise in Human Society. Karma - our work is our Attachment. Attachment breeds desire & desire leads to frustration which in turn leads to delusion. When we are deluded, we lose our memory and destroy the power of discrimination. Our self itself is lost.
Let us fight this war, by focusing on our 'Dharma', on our goal to save Humanity. Inaction is Action now. Stay at home, away from crowded places. Because by following our Karma, we are helping our enemy, which will hurt our loved-ones.
This War is not about yourself, don't let our loved ones question our abilities. Slow down. Boredom is the sacrifice we have to make.
What you call as coincidence, I call it "Magic". Artistic journey has many ups and downs, (I guess every journey has). There was a time when I was struggling with my art career. Struggle not in terms of survival, as I am lucky to have support of my family and friends. But I like to be independent.
I dedicate my art to my mother, so "Atignas"; reverse of my mom's name "Sangita". This name was also clicked while having a conversation with my friend Raj Mitra. Coming back to the struggling phase, one day my mother came and gifted me a canvas roll and asked me to create. I am very emotional, as receiving so much love and support from her, gave me strenth to create. I felt deep within that I will create something magical as this blank canvas is very special to me.
It was a 5 mt roll of 40 inch (i.e approx. 15 feet), which I cut equally in three parts i.e. 5x3 ft each). Here, I am sharing a story about "Magic" artwork which was the last painting of the three artworks I created. I dont know how much time it takes to create one artwork, as I cannot quantify it. It is a continuous process and every painting takes it's time to reveal itself. Few take hours, few days, few months and few years.
I believe in God, but not a deep follower of any specific God.I belive in humanity and kindness, I believe in Love.
So as the painting was created, I was happy, as it was something different from my earlier work. I remember while creating it, though there was turbulence in my mind, I was lost in the creation process. It took me few days to complete it, but I didn't get time to spend time with it, to feel it, to observe. I didn't create the painting, I was just a tool and the painting was creating itself.
I had a exhibition in Delhi at Artizen Art Gallry. I was planning to exhibit "Fear" artwork, but then changed my mind to exhibit "Magic" at the last moment. At the gallery, I was not sure to display it horizontally or vertically. One of my artist friend, Nirakar Chowdhary helped me in getting the painting stretched (as logistic is always a huge task with large paintings) and because of the space constraint, and to have more breathing space, we decided to hang the painting vertically.
All set for the exhibition, and I went home. In the evening (sunset time), I received a message from another artist, Mr. Bhanu Prakash, whom I met in the morning at the exhibition. Message was a picture of my painting with sun rays on it forming the shape of God "Shiva".
I smiled and thought of it as a blessing from God. Next day as I saw the painting, I was surprised to see God "Shiva" in his meditation pose. I was even more surprised when visitors at the exhibition started telling me about it. I uploaded the painting picture on Imgur, to share with the world (without mentioning anything about Lord Shiva). The painting went viral and I was overwhelmed by the love I was receiving from the world. Later another artist friend, Mr. Atul Pandita helped me in bringing the painting back to my home.