Nov 8, 2009

Towards the Untaming of the Gardens of our Seas

It is a mouthful of a title to swallow... So why don't we talk about it by first talking a bit about ourselves;

Soraya and i graduated from the same art college (LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts) in Singapore but, had pocketed different perspectives from the same space. During our time there, we knew of each others existence and would confirm it by passing 'hello' smiles at the cafeteria or library.

The first time we had really spoken was about three years after graduation. She was rushing over to her hair styling classes while i had been running around getting errands done for my then-employers. Our chancing together that day led to an intense fifteen minutes where we shared what we had been up to and where we would be heading. Soraya was preparing to shift to Bangalore after her marriage, while i was making plans to shift in with my parents who (coincidently) happen to live in Bangalore too.

It was something for the both of us to look forward to. That neither of us would really be alone in a foreign country... That we could reminiscent over taut popiahs that could be held well by chopsticks, slithering laksa noodles, mrt systems and other moments we'd miss about Singapore. 

This was to be the first time either of us lived in India.

We kept in touch as and when we could. Soraya would share with me of her love of paper-art and when i would gift her something, she would light up promptly, to ask if its made of paper. Our get-togethers would end by a discussion of collaborating to make paper-art and for me to look up paper artist, Jen Stark's work. 

Sometime beginning of August 2010, she tells me that shes been given an opportunity to make and display works anytime before December this year. 
She baits to see if i'm interested in joining in. 
I bite. And she quickly reels me in.

So now  we have a space and less than 3 months to make a new set of works. which led to brainstorming sessions as to what this exhibition will be about.

Is there a theme to this exhibition? We would be presumptuous to say that we have any planned. What we can share with you are observations... such as, us have a liking for long fluid lines showcasing some sense of intricacies or how we both like involving our hands in our work and entering our bubble of concentration as we take the time to make works.

“If we are in a rut, it is a palatial and exquisite rut. And yet, like prisoners in a cell, we grip our ribs from within, rattle them, and beg for release.”, wrote Diane Ackerman in her book, ‘A Natural History of the Senses’.

And we were in our ruts. At that moment we were in our individual cages rattling away and quietly begging for we had forgotten what it was like to feel that strength of connection with our own impassioned creative juices... with ourselves. It was like speaking to a loved one in another continent over a mobile phone, and the voice through that phone was crackling away on its last bar of reception.

A frustrating inability to communicate with the ‘fire in ones belly’.

Carolyn M. Kleefeld wrote a poem in her book, 'Climates of the Mind' that helped visualize how the ecosystem of ideas and creativity functioned;

"... There's a symphonic coalescence
between the pulse of my streams
and the seas outside
My dynamics claim the freedom
the abandon born of the gypsy wind

The untamed gardens of the sea
offer me a palatial everchanging playground
The tides landscape these nomadic gardens endlessly

The plasma of the sea gives without loss 
Gifting me with waterfalls
that cascade inside me into ideas-
pools of imagination to swim in..." (excerpt)

An apt visualization of our momentary disconnection, which became the title and visual for which our selves are growing towards.

We hope to see you here soon!

Have an excellent week ahead!


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