Moving Image, Duration 9.25min, debuted on July 21, 2021, in the opening of the RCA 2021 Contemporary Art Practice Degree Show at Cromwell Place.
Archives and social histories inform a provocative approach to storytelling in my works.
This work got conceived and made whilst doing my Master’s from RCA around the covid time. All alone and miles away from home, this work is my homage to the two rivers that have been a source of succour for me –the Thames in my present, a much-needed anchor in the turbulent and uncertain pandemic times and the river Ganga (Ganges) from my past. Both are revered and ancient giants. And as most of the time, the process starts with a release in text form.
The images, sounds, and emotions all juxtapose one another into a blur.
sound of the lapping waves, water gurgling fast or at times silent and gentle on its journey...an infinite and insatiable hunger to meet the sea.
water gushes in exactly the same manner as it did back home.
sunlight dances on its ripples like tiny river nymphs as they did back home.
it’s nature of the movement, of the finality of the passing time, of certainty, of its infiniteness.
of it being the giver of life and death- both; has inspired many, the poets, the artists in the same manner as it has back home.
back home she meanders nourishing, fulfilling all, as it does thousands of miles away...
both similar, connect people, touch lives, never still, never-ending, a constant, just like the sun, the stars- one becomes a father, a revered God, Father Thame, the other- a Mother, a Goddess, they call her Ganga-ji with respect and love.
it calls out when I sit beside it, in the exact manner.
being next to it fills me with melancholy, and makes me ruminate on the nature of existence, and life…self.
my eyes gravitate to it every morning in the same way.
I wish to dip my hands, but don’t, I hesitate... it never occurs to me to dip my body in it ... as I would back home, is it the city? I have yet to fathom.
its infinite flow never ceases to brim me with awe.
reminds me of the finality of the passing of time.
just as the Ganga, the Thames, reflects the mood of the sky and the day, it seems serene when washed in the sunset colours, or dark, scary, and ominous in the inky colour of the night, moody and charged up reflect the mood of an impending storm effectively.
the romance and poetry around it is all my own making, that is how I have been conditioned to think and reflect, make narratives.
the river, has no agenda or purpose other than to just flow.
it has no reasons other than the physics or the science of the forces that are leading it to be, do what it does.
nor is it affected by the meanings or rituals that are being attached to it by us.
it just flows…
a life-giver, yes, because of its nature, it’s dharma, the dharma of water- a life source, it houses hundreds and thousands of species of flora and fauna in and around it, of the thousands it supports, humans are one of the many. If it’s assigned a gender or a title, to be a father- Father Thames or a mother- Mother Ganga (Ganga-ji) does this change the nature of its being?
regardless, he/she/it just flows.
if anything, the genders assigned, the stories, and the mythologies woven around these majestic giants tell us a lot about the cultures they inhabit or flow through.
humans have always aspired to have powers over nature.
our make-believe world of folklore, mythologies reflects these naked desires as none other, is no different, both in the UK and India- how one was able to part the river to make way to be walked through, or…how one walked on water, continues today with the likes of the Marvel enterprises.
makes me shudder to even imagine what we would do if we had any?