Artists: Notes on Art Making

Published in the catalogue Eye of the Needle, Gallery Espace, 10th October - 7th November, 2009

I have always been mesmerized y shape and form-visions dance and merge kindling my fantasy and imagination.

In the coastal town, where I grew up dusk beckoned to a mysterious hinterland. A rising sea tried to devour the full-moon, sparkling movement of phosphorous coated fish lit patch dark backwaters, tall shadowy trees swayed in synchronized mystery and a lighthouse flashed-both reassuring ad alarming at the same time.

In a distant fishing village a thatched roof made of coconut-leaves caught fire, people shouted and rushed a fetch water. A huge black snake coiled inside the rice reservoir to cool itself.

Wake at midnight a spotted ball of light was perhaps an UFO and yet another night witnessing dacoits fleeing on their stilts, the shooting stars in the sky remained transfixed. One I was told, like a huge chunk of stone, fully ablaze, fell into a nearby pond where people saw the water come to a rolling boil. Should I make a wish?

Turing into our wooden-cabinet suitcase radio catching the feeble sounds of some foreign channel in the late night worked in the mind as lullaby. And suddenly silence.

Soviet magazines translated in Bengali, a globe as a birthday gift, remains of parts of a fighter plane on the sea shore from a nearby military base, un-decipherable engravings on huge boats, week-long rains, the unfathomable fear of a possible catastrophe.

These memories reside in the nook and corner of my mind. They are as alive now as then-intriguing and exhaustive, contradictory and complementing. There is violence in cities, vast barren lands, much to harvest, heaps of waste, astonishing riches, overwhelming poverty.

My work layers multi-dimensional hues and textures that I begin with and pare down to simple mages of everyday life no to get an end result but to depict continuous movement. In my laboratory, in the process of achieving something one makes small discoveries along the way which are as significant as the intended result and an end where success and failure cease to be the opposite.

The high-spirited images are marooned in statelessness and they are at play with their own contours, often shaking the ground of their visual security. Mundane objects discreetly tell different tales, known characters become obscure. Much like the skin of a picked mango, water-stained surfaces of my paintings bears all the marks of its process!

Sometimes there are recurring images of inherited objects, and mementoes. An old item may be outworn yet preserved. They become the commanding subjects that observe the mundane hustle and bustle of daily lives and chuckle and tease, seeming to know that regardless of time and progress, what was them remains now.

The past and present merge-contradiction compliment and the surreal and real become united as a cohesive force.

My work is an expression of this and more-the only way I know to see the eye of the needle.

Published in the catalogue Eye of the Needle, Gallery Espace, 10th October - 7th November, 2009
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