The Garden Within
Updated: May 1, 2020
An Artist's Perspective
The Garden Within
When I made these two artworks a few months ago, I had no idea they would become a kind of precursor of this global lock-down or seem prophetic if I may say so just in a course of a few months. I made them then as an ode to solitude and introspection; channeling the core of nature that resides in us all. Living in a concrete jungle we often lose touch with our base. With things that matter the most- nature, family, health, faith and our actions as a race and their influence on the universe. Constantly living in an autopilot mode we seldom stop to listen what our own consciousness is trying to tell us. The most damage that such unmindful existence leads to is the slowing down or at times a complete shutdown of our intuitive capabilities or our observational skills. The subject of these two artworks was the act of self- seclusion, of being locked away in an urban apartment trying to reconnect with nature. The black and white sketch is about the self- imposed lock-down, while the oil on canvas painting in green depicts the ensuing result of the seclusion through a garden of bliss. Growth and renewal through slowing down and isolation; these two artworks today seem eerily prescient to me. The universe has forced us all into isolation giving us a moment to introspect and renew our way thinking and living.
We get so far away from our own consciousness or vibrancy that we forget to harness our perceptibility and innate instincts or sixth sense. we end up taking the wrong turns and making poor judgment calls often thinking they are our best decisions. We start relying on our limited understanding too much to read the signs God and the universe He created is sending out to us. At best of times we are jumping from one distraction to another so much so that even a simple activity like having a meal is incomplete without some form of entertainment or distraction. So how do we really slow down and turn off the constant buzz of distractions? How do we tune into our own frequencies and that of nature to understand the bigger picture or scheme of things in the universe? These recurring questions troubled me the most and I started feeling the need to slow down and introspect and realized how alone and detached we all are from our own selves, unable to truly connect with the universe or anyone else for that matter. I made these artworks as a resolve to be more mindful, so that new ideas could bloom and take shape. Ever since my solo exhibition last year I changed the way I drew inspiration, I started looking inwards rather than outside for creative expression, in the process understanding why many artists chose seclusion and why their work has a resonance even centuries or decades later. In Art communities, the constant need to oversell or the risk of over exposure due to extreme competitiveness and arrogance gets too suffocating for its own good .This global crisis will put things in perspective hopefully and we will value solitude more without the constant need for validation or one-upmanship.
The same goes for life and politics around us as well. There is still time to evaluate , introspect and read the signals the universe is trying to send out. In hindsight I am convinced the earth was giving us constant warnings and Atlas was preparing to shrug it's weight, we were just not paying attention. We are now faced with a calamity that has brought us down to our knees. Super Powers and Third World Nations are all on the same footing and equally helpless in the face of this crisis. It isn’t wrong to assume that this pandemic has shown us that when indifference,greed, hate, violence and corruption grows unchecked in people or Nations or governments the world over, we are creating a frequency of disturbance and it will eventually backfire on us. The balance of good always has to be heavier than that of evil or nature will fight back and try to restore the order. If we are still under the impression that our individual hate, greed or ignorance doesn’t amount to the collective hate and evil around the world think again. Even if you don’t believe in Karma believe in the ability of the universe to purge itself and restore balance or even annihilate and renew if need arises. What we should now understand is that we are all much more connected than we ever imagined. What we do on a personal, collective or political level will affect us all irrespective of class, race, borders or religion. We need to slow down in order to re-calibrate and grow, and progress will not come by invading or encroaching upon the earth or someone's human rights or freedom. We also need to understand once and for all that we cannot keep abusing our resources indiscriminately. We have to preserve more than we use, give more than we take. choose to be more kind to our Planet and to each other in order to restore the balance of good over evil, love over hate. If we don’t understand this simple truth after we emerge from our lock-downs, we are in for many more in the coming years.