time to format.


Last five years, I was chasing a question : what is great work?

I went all out trying to find work that moves me. Music, Architecture,

Fine Art, Poetry, Sculptures, Science, Gastronomy - trying to single out and absorb

works that were beautiful, timeless, intense and singular.

Consumed works, reflected on the theories of how these works came into being.

Quite a nourishment. Obviously a result, my work moved. I struggled to not get

influenced, hungry to distill the essence from the form so as to imbibe it - and yet

stay free.

Then Less happened. Unfortunately, I didn't have time enough to create all new

works for this show, and I ended up showing select works over last 5 years.

When I stood in the gallery, something snapped. While it was all my work -

I couldn't identify with most of them, barring a few.

I had to rethink. The question 'What is great work?' is a good question to ask,

but it makes one think outside in. But what was my art?

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there comes a time when taking inspiration from outside is no longer possible.

the only direction can be from inside.

which is when one needs to quit the form, compulsions and influence.

wiping slate clean and breaking it away is the only way to go.

dive into the bottomless darkness.

that's the only way to light.

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What's my art?

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With this question, I could not look out. The focus moved inside.

What was it that would give me sleepless nights?

What was it that I was trying to reach? explore? express? experiment towards?

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To get closer to the question (answer is far off), I had to stop.

The first part of this journey is to break the habit of making art.

It was important to forget the time-tested ways of making art.

The canvas, the rollers, the paints. The lack of friction discovered over time -

to create certain 'form' of artworks. The entire feedback about how beautiful

the works looked - each aspect, which keeps you with what you have been doing.

I needed to wipe the slate clean. Freedom.

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Freedom.

I started writing. But writing has its limitations, in words. A word has too much of

certainty - it needs relationships with other words to bind and unbind it. Words? no.

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Then it was ink. Picked up some calligraphy tools. Papers.

Never tried papers before. Drops of ink. Flow.

Threw the tools away. Cut a cardboard box and made new tools.

New tools for each work. Each work is different, new.

Only one rule : next work must not start from previous.

The form of one work doesn't enter another.

Each work must be made as if its my first.

But that doesn't happen. One learns. It seeps in.

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One thing inks did.

They made me forget my old ways.

They set me free.

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I am back with my oil paints.

Fragrance of linseed oil feels new.

Colours have started to amaze me.

The wonder is back.

There is no set way of working.

I don't know how to approach a work.

I can't understand what I am making.

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And that's exactly how i wanted to be.

fresh. free. new.