primitive/ˈprɪmɪtɪv/relating to, denoting, or preserving the character of an early stage in the evolutionary or historical development of something.“the intellect... Read More
relating to, denoting, or preserving the character of an early stage in the evolutionary or historical development of something.
“the intellect will cognize what is intuited as a mere thing, reducing the sacred grove to mere timber” Hegel
There has been a universal disconnect, especially within urban India with its extremely rich regional craft and folk traditions.These traditions are hundreds of years old living traditions; still practiced today as part of daily life as well as a source of sustenance. The post scientific revolution cultural imperialism which swept the world led all ‘native’ traditions to be thought of as inferior. This has left such a powerful imprint that almost a 100 yrs after gaining independence we think of our own cultural heritage and aesthetics as primitive. The folk literally equals to primitive in our minds today. A 1000 year old living tradition is relegated to being inferior, ancient, old, primitive, not having relevance and so having very little value.
This work; the first after the forced isolation that we in India lived through due to the pandemic, began with me wanting to occupy the gallery space for a period of time and draw directly on the gallery walls with charcoal. The only thought I entered the gallery space with was to create a dark room and the only image I had in mind was the inside of the mouth with lots of flies in it (the flies were projected onto the drawing). The work turned out to be me tracing my own journey over the last couple of years, my work, influences and specifically my attraction to the folks arts and aesthetic. The work to me was a like a memory stamp, a mindscape, like unraveling my mind and allowing people to enter into this mind cave.
The draw to the folk aesthetic, for me also has been due to its maintained balance between man and nature. There still exists a deep respect for nature and other non human presences. The feminine energies are deeply regarded and are central to their existence; in respect to nature but also extending to a much greater gender parity. Some folk traditions still follow a matriarchal system. What was fulfilling for me was that in the process of the work, which began with dark images became regenerative in the process of the making the work. Much like how dry matter decomposes in a forest floor and becomes nutrients for further growth.