• 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

The creative process of art is as complex as it is simple. Sometimes, you are just a channel and magic keeps manifesting itself through you while you watch yourself create. At other times, there is just a lull. Between these two extremes, there is a range of processes that takes place within an artist. Today, I want to talk about the lull. A lull so terrifying that it almost disrupts the very core of your being.

My grandmother passed away recently and she was very dear to me. Although I knew the extent of her health issues before and she was 93 years old when she passed away, nothing could prepare me for the earthly end of this beautiful relationship between us. On the work front, after the solo exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, I was consolidating my thoughts that had been inspired by my trip to Bali. My next collection was beginning to just take shape in my head when this personal loss happened. All of a sudden, I was staring at a creative block.I was consumed by thoughts of whether I will ever be able to work again. Every block is like that. You never know if you will ever get past it. You never know if things will be the same ever again. It is terrifying. Your feet tremble when you try to take the next step. I tried to work and everything I created looked like death, it emanated emotions that I simply was not ready to explore yet. I was struggling with my creative process when one day, as I lay in my studio, I came across something that J.Krishnamurthi had said. It was about how just listening to life in the truest sense is the most liberating experience and that thought resonated with me.I stopped trying so hard to push myself and I looked within. Many days I spent time just staring at my own work. Letting the effort go and just accepting what I was going thorough was beautiful by itself, the solitude helped. I listened to more and more of what was happening in my head. Slowly, what started as a mere practice session to replicate my own work became a creative process and art started flowing onto the canvas again. All those inspiring sounds from Bali rang in my head again. And steadily, the block began to become smaller. A big part of being an artist is to let the art happen to you. The process of art becomes the life of artists. As I work towards overcoming my block, I must say I am enjoying every bit of the entire process.

Blocks, creative or otherwise, are a part of life. Scary, but imminent. Sometimes, just being still and experiencing it without any resistance can help the block pass without any friction and make it all a wonderful experience, isn’t it?

  • Abhigna Kedia

Have you ever observed cycles of creation in nature? Nature doesn’t keep creating incessantly like a factory. There is a period of quiet, there is a period of agitation, the re is a period of invisible forces playing their roles and then there is a period when everything blossoms. I believe that the process of creation of art follows this cycle as well. But then, who is the creator and who is the creation here?

As an artist, I have always wondered if I am a channel for art to manifest or if it is the other way round and this is a question that cannot be answered. Of course, unanswered questions fuel more art and this is a delightfully vicious cycle by itself. After my solo exhibition at the Jehangir Art Gallery, I took some time off last month and went on a vacation to Gili Island, Bali. It became the perfect ground for reflective thoughts to take the reins in my head and this note is a reflection of my experiences. As I lay on the beach, closed my eyes and took in everything around me, the external and the internal merged. The sound of waves, the bickering of crickets, the ghungroo’s rhythm from the horse carts, the gentle rustle of the leaves, every little sound felt like a part of me. It felt like a part of my own world inside. I could see art within me and I could see that it was already a masterpiece. All I have to do now is to bring a physical form to this. The experience left me inspired and intrigued.

When is art really created?

Is it created the moment I feel something spectacular in my mind?

Or, is it created only when I express that feeing on a canvas?

Is reality restricted to physical forms? What do you think?