While this blog story comes in a tad late, it’s ok. I needed to take a mini blog-social-media hiatus. You see, sometimes I love to go to exhibitions and live art demonstrations for the love of it. And I don’t necessarily want to write or blog about my experience or about the art right at that minute. It’s because I want to keep the emotion that each artwork pieces stirs in my heart, in my system for a little while longer instead of belching it all on (virtual) paper immediately. That’s just me. Also, as a creative introvert, caught in the mindset that one needs to blog constantly for it to be successful and drive traffic to the site, I needed to let go. I needed to ensure that I walk my own journey at my pace, even if it means disconnecting for a while. Sometimes when it is all so overwhelming, I do what a sane introvert does. Detach and slip into the silence of solitude for the purpose of inner balance and introspection. If you are an introvert, then you know what I mean.
Except for a stiff chesty cold that refuses to budge, I am back to my blog. This post is nearly three weeks old, but the artists and the work that they produce live on. As of now, the artwork by Henosis (that was showcased at the above mentioned exhibition) has already been auctioned off at the Bosnia Charity Auction at DIAC Art Centre on the 21st of June. Bl’u, co-founder of The Henosis Events (THE) has already written a blog story which you can read here.
I met B’lu when I went to cover the Islamic Art Exhibition at the Art Gallery Ahmedia Dubai. The other member of THE is Dr. Ashvin Pillai who I met by chance at Art Dubai nearly two years ago. In those days, my quest was to find more scientists-doctors who were also very creative and artistic – those that would understand my ‘hybrid’ nature when it came to blending science and art. The blog post on Ashvin’s achievements is here. Ram Nath II is the third member.
Understandably, when three vibrant artists come together, you will only find one-of-a-kind themed work. And that is what the events organised by THE are all about. The event called ’22 ways to kill your boss’ was one such event. It was held at DUCTAC‘s gallery of lights. I actually wanted to take part in this exhibition, but decided against it in the end, for fear of painting some real dark, bloody and gory painting (I am not too bold to display such dark thoughts on canvas in public just yet). While the title of the exhibition is rather ‘brutal’ (beware bad bosses), B’lu says that it is all about managing one’s anger without harming a soul; an attempt to define subjectivity and expression, while living an artist’s life stuck in the rat race. It was a chance for artists to do away with the ‘bosses’ in their lives – perhaps anger, anxiety, negative life patterns, bullying and spill them onto the canvas.
Here are the list of artists for this event.
Ram Nath’s sound installation
You can listen to the sound installation by Ram Nath II here. Called, Treasures of lengthy from plant Neuiquex. An accountant from another planet counts money in her alien language. They have the counting numerals uptil the number 500. I must admit, I started to get irritated with the almost mechanical tone of the female ‘alien’ voice booming through the Gallery of Lights. I felt that her voice got in the way of my making sensible conversation with fellow artists in the English language. However, while writing this post, I listened to the sound installation online and started to feel intrigued by the fact that one can create one’s own languages if one wanted to. Lately, I’ve been watching movies such as the Time Machine, where the people of the future speak their own language. Reminds me of the language they speak in the movie ‘Avatar.’ How fascinating.
Henosis’ Dark Secrets
Details: This work has layers of textured material… to signify the title in a psychedelic manner… there are: clay (childhood play time); pure gold leaf (that stands for secrets preciously guarded) and coffee (signifying nostalgia)… of events in the past that continue to rule/boss over the present. People, places, emotions, gestures, aggression… instances of betrayal, abandonment… and so on…
Mixed media. Size 150 x 100 cm.
Click to access the Henosis facebook page.
I have already written about Shaok’s artwork elsewhere. Shaok is like me, an adult third culture kid. Her art moves me in ways that I cannot express. Somehow, her paintings capture the hidden challenges that we third culture kids face, when trying to find our true identity whilst caught up amongst various cultures that we grew up in.
She had displayed two paintings. The one with the dark face with those burgundy eyes hiding simmering rage greeted visitors at the entrance of the exhibition. Shaok’s Angry Face is a mirror image of each one of us when helplessness, anger and frustration takes over. Her ‘untitled’ painting, hanging next to Henosis artwork, exudes a dark, impenetrable loneliness that hounds us, whenever we refuse to let our anger out in a safe spaces. I like the way the vertical art strokes above the subjects almost gives a whimsical feel that there is still a sliver of hope and light even in our dark anger and loneliness moments.
Access Shaok Tahir’s art on facebook.
Carly Turner’s ‘Selfie‘
This artist’s artwork really goes overboard in every way to capture anger and its nuances. Painting of a Bart Simpson like character amongst the chains. It’s almost as if you she gives you the opportunity to trek through her brain’s hemispheres. I didn’t know whether to laugh or stay upset when viewing her painting. You see, when I am real angry or upset, I actually start to laugh and crack sarcastic jokes. What I am trying to say is that there is acid humour thriving amongst the motions of anger and rage and Carly captures it well. She calls her artwork: Street art in chains.
Sonu Sultania’s lady in blue holding the gold dagger has her own story of struggle. Titled the implacable, it is dedicated to women. “Women all over the world are now aware of the need to change the existing society and are struggling for their rights. They are motivated by a burning sense of injustice at the barbaric treatment of women in a society that hypocritically proclaims its adherence to democracy and justice while relegating half of humanity to a position of degrading inequality, discrimination and oppression of all kinds. They now need an implacable and revolutionary attitude to snatch all the rights they deserve.”
I love the blend of water colours and pen that Ritu Dua has used in her artwork ‘Unshakeable.’ In my current ‘painting’ cycle, I am doing a lot of pen work in black and using the stippling effect. The energy vampires are denoted in black pen, devoid of any notion of colour. She says, “I am on a mission to eliminate all sorts of energy vampires around me. Despite being surrounded by negative people or situations, I have taken the pledge to be myself – a happy, calm, compassionate and peaceful person at heart. This piece of art represents that undying spirit of positivity.”
I have written about Jocelyn’s art elsewhere, in the past. Her painting ‘Pearl Flamenco’ is in stark contrast to the most of the other paintings that use dark and strong colour palettes. “Pearl Flamenco has been created to capture the feeling of woman expressing herself through dance. She is lost in the painting as she is lost in the dance. We all want to feel the freedom and release that are found in the movement of dance. I am trying to paint this feeling.”
Like Art by Jocelyn on facebook.
The artwork below is from the Merchant Series. Blood curdling, brain freezing, heart palpitating – that’s how I felt. The artist explores various aspects of work-life demands. He feels humans are emaciated in a work-work environment and tortured.
Laurette Kovary’s Silent Killer
I gotta tell you, I could feel the taste of honey on my tongue. The use of the honeycomb effect on the lips of the girl as well as the use of resin (or is it laminated plastic) on each solid canvas. This is what Laurette has to say, “This art was born out of the desire to expose my inner consciousness into reality by overlapping and juxta positioning images that assault us on a daily basis often changing, clouding or colouring our world to think differently than we actually feel.”
“When I set out sketching this piece, Purgatory, it was originally going to be a comic strip. During my initial sketch a friend gifted me a book on Caravaggio’s art, and I was instantly inspired by his classic style, and decided to mix classic with comic; old with new. I started the painting as black and white, seeing as I was feeling less than colourful having gone through a traumatic time. I slowly eased into hues of green and brown before transforming into intense warm shades of blue, yellow and red, representing my feelings progressing from rage and anger, to emancipation and clarity. I opted to use the classic art technique for the angel in heaven, and a more comical technique for the demons and hell. This was to emphasise that good is constant whereas evil changes form and face. The lost soul they are fighting over is merely a faint shadow. My last touch was the creeping demon above the angel – it is for the audience to decide the conclusion of this battle in the everlasting conflict between good and bad.”
Need I say more?
As you may have already guessed, it was impossible for me to capture all the paintings by the 22 artists on this blog posts. But let this blog story be the cornerstone full of lessons to learn about how artists will paint, come hell or high water; come desert shamals and Hurricane Harry, come parched throats and unanswered prayers, whether in season or out of season. We live for our art and our art lives through us.
View Jan’s mixed media art, design and handcrafted cufflinks at Janys De.