• Abhigna Kedia

The work that we do is really an extension of ourselves, isn’t it? I have been thinking about evolution and how our work can push us to go beyond who we are. Whether we do it consciously or not, every single action of ours is trying to get us somewhere, a better place.  Being an artist, I am able to see myself in my work more profoundly. The evolution is more noticeable, the explorations are more literal. The urge to transcend what is and explore what lies further drives my work. Every input I get from around me is shaping me and my art at every moment. 

However, the downside is that there are times when it all becomes overwhelming and I need to find constant sources of inspirations to go on. I usually turn to music, books or philosophy. But, during the lockdown, one of the interesting turn of events for me as an artist has been the access that I gained to many other forms of inspiration online.

For example, Art Basel’s online viewing room, Mumbai Gallery Weekend on Instagram, Foundation of Art & Culture hosting conversations about art, etc have all been made available virtually. The horizons have widened and the implications are beautiful. These sessions and experiences online are like sanctuaries amidst all the uncertainties of this time.

There is one particular quote from these sessions that I want to tell you about. Prabhakar Kolte said this one line that goes “To understand black, become black”. It has stayed with me and changed the way I look at my work.  It is such a powerful thought and my mind is exploring all the layers of it. I look at black now and I see acceptance, I see a reflection of myself. It is a point of evolution for my work.

With access to so much more inspiration through the internet, most of us have crossed paths with ideas, inputs and experiences that we couldn’t earlier. What among all this has moved you the most and how has it changed you? I leave you to reflect on this until we meet next :)

  • Abhigna Kedia

Spaces are interesting. A concrete building could be nothing or everything depending on who decides to live there and what they do there. I’m sure all of us are seeing how much our lives are influenced by physical spaces especially when we are confined to four walls in the prevailing situation. To further explore the meaning of what spaces can become, as well as to let you visit a new place albeit virtually, I decided to take you through a tour of the ground zero for my art – my studio.

My studio is a 2 BHK apartment located in a quaint corner of the residential society that I live in. I work from all over the apartment depending on the process and the two bedrooms function as separate areas that are integral to the process of working with resin. The entire apartment is done up in a way that is a reflection of all that I love. There are random things collected from my travels, a photo-wall of loved ones, some indoor plants, and lots of bells (love them!). The place sounds serene thanks to the constant chirping of birds outside. 

When I go to my studio, I listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, journal my thoughts and sometimes just reflect on my thoughts when I’m not creating art. I feel completely free when I am at my studio and it feels as if time has slowed down. It is a space where the subtleties of my own energy get amplified and I can be exactly who I am. It is bustling with energy when I want to and when I want to be still, the place becomes still. I wouldn’t call this place home, it is so much more volatile when compared to the stable cocoon that a home is. But, this place calms me down and kindles my mind and heart. 

Sometimes, I just sit and stare at my own work, accepting a state of nothingness in my mind. Journeys of self-discovery start off. I question what art is, who I am, what the world means to me. And, the most beautiful thing is that since I create art in this place where I have infinite freedom, the art that I create comes from a deeply honest place within me.

I have often wondered if this magical setting of my studio is a physical one or a mental one. Maybe both of these go hand-in-hand. I have tried to experience the freedom of my studio at home and other places but I haven’t been able to. As an artist and as a person, the opportunity to let myself completely free is so precious and is closely associated with my studio space. The physical space probably provides the perfect base for the mind to build its own safe space within. And, when a place is associated with you, maybe it becomes more and more of that as time goes by. 

It is very important to have such spaces, isn’t it? Do you have a space that is completely ‘you’? What helps you build and protect such spaces? And, when you are completely true to yourself in such spaces, isn’t there a beautiful sense of catharsis? 

I hope you enjoyed the little peek into my studio and related to my thoughts about it. Stay safe and well and I will meet you again in a few weeks ☺ 

  • Abhigna Kedia

It is funny how time can engulf us in its tide and make us wonder if life ever felt different before. It has been only a few months since the Corona virus came to be as we know it and yet it feels like ‘normal’ life is a faraway memory.

I had been in Italy around the first week of February for my art exhibition and it was an exhibition that is etched in my heart as one of the most magical experiences. The people of Italy were pure love. On cold evenings, they stood in line for the exhibition to open and the artist in me rejoiced that look of pure admiration in their eyes when they looked at my work. I learnt that many of them save up money specifically to buy atleast one piece of art each year and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. My work sold out at that exhibition and I returned home with my heart full of gratitude.

By this time, the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Italy were in single digits. Still, I isolated myself upon return just to be on the safe side. We went through a huge ordeal later where my husband and I felt some throat pain and got ourselves tested and waited with a lot of anxiety for ten long days until we got the report that all was well with us. But, what really breaks my heart is the alarming situation in Italy, a country that just a few months ago had embraced me like no other.

With the lockdown and the uncertainty in India as well, the whole world is strangely together albeit in fear. It makes me wonder what is in it for all of us beyond fear. Overnight, a lot of our daily routine has changed and our lives have changed. Even when all this passes and we can afford to go back to our old lifestyles, is a complete reversal possible? This experience is definitely going to leave a strong impact, isn’t it? So, then the next thought that follows is what are we going to take away from all this? Maybe we have a choice in who we become after this.

I have dived into work and spent time at my studio discovering all that art brings out in me without the restrictions of time. I enrolled in an online philosophy course, I spend so much more time with my family, I am truly able to do all that I have always wanted to. No two people will have the same situation, especially in these circumstances. But, maybe we could find positivity somewhere. If not anything, this time could train us to look for joy in the most difficult times.

 © Abhigna Kedia | Artist | Abstract Art

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