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WOW Arts – Narration by Artists

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I am immensely grateful to all artists who have contributed Art to ‘The WOW Project’. Not only are these Arts wonderful but each artist have shared narration on why they chose to do the Art they did. To understand their wonderful work, it is best to have it deciphered directly by its creator.

Read through each narration here and then experience the corresponding WOW art. The artist’s perspective will help you enjoy the art better.

Amit Suri
Curator of ‘The WOW Project’

ALISHKA VARDE SINGH on her pencil sketch on ‘ATTITUDE’

At first all I could picture for the word Attitude was a very confident woman in snazzy sunglasses not caring what the world thinks. I even made a few sketches till I realised that that’s really not what attitude is – It’s what we’ve been made to believe.

An attitude is a very strong deep secure feeling you have in your heart that makes you do things you didn’t think you could. So when I read the associated quote, it clicked for me. A little something, if we give positivity to, can really make a huge difference. And so I sketched again. Flowers are my thing – It started with a little girl watering her small flower and it then blooms and blooms into gorgeous large flowers with my favourite intricate patterns in them!

DEVASHISH MAKHIJA on his graphic poetry on ‘BALANCE’

In the piece ‘750mm’ the ‘system’ fails the ‘individual’ yet again. It starts raining in a seaside city that had promised its citizens that there will be no waterlogging. Not only is the water rising now, the Meteorological Department has promised the water won’t rise above 750 mm. This piece is the first person perspective of a shanty-dweller, who – when he sits on his haunches – is exactly 750mm high. He sits outside his destroyed hut as the water rises, immersing him, taking his life slowly. He does this to prove the Meteorological Department wrong. He also does this to show he can ‘hold on’, yet ‘let go’. He doesn’t manage to change the ‘System’. He doesn’t become a ‘Martyr’. Like all others of his kind he becomes a footnote in yet another media story. He is not missed by what we call Mother India (which ends up being nothing more than just another genderless monstrous machinery).

BIJIT KUNDU on his illustration on ‘CURIOSITY’

Curiosity is a feeling of inquisitiveness, mixed with anxiety and fear, which ignite our wildest imagination. Curiosity does not stop at one single thing or discovery, it keeps on going forward, it has its own offshoots. Events keep on linking with each other which leads to newer knowledge. It’s like a maze… and when we come to the end of the tunnel we see a newer light which we did not know existed before. This gives us immense joy. From curiosity comes new knowledge. My artwork depicts this sense of anticipation and the exciting imaginary journey while going through the maze of the unknown.

KRSNA ANANDA on his photograph on ‘DILIGENCE’

The image is from a series of mirrorgrams which I have been shooting for over 2 years. I chose this image from a Vat Purnima celebration where women tie holy threads by wishing and vowing for health and prosperity of their near and dear ones. The Peepal tree represents the tree of life and is sacred in Hindu religion. It supports life of all sorts and is famous for its long life. The Peepal tree also has the property to purify air. The cotton thread is just the opposite. The cotton thread represents the fragile nature of life, love, trust, faith – and all things that go on to make up a relationship. A single thread may be weak, but, when it is wound 108 times around the trunk, it becomes strong. It is no longer so fragile and no longer easy to break.

RUCHI BAKSHI SHARMA on her illustration on ‘EMPATHY’

Verdant growth envelopes a girl in her mind garden. She and the reflection that represents her are entangled through loops of time and space. Everything mirrors here. Her mind is still as she attunes to a resonating transference taking place in her heart. Her eyes are closed as she concentrates on expansion. When her guiding forces begin to take form, past and future collapse, the quality of empathy is engaged and along hidden perception begins to flow.

BIMAL PODDAR on his illustration on ‘FREEDOM’

Freedom is like the breeze on a day when the moon shines bright…An old envelope for the letter sent by you that is now lost…An unravelled secret, wavy hasty hair, glittering on a shiny contour. Freedom is space, unobstructed, unrestricted. Freedom is your breath and mine.

ANOOP PATNAIK on his comic art on ‘GOODNESS’

For the word Goodness, I drew inspiration from a line in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. In this tale of a father and son’s journey together, and at a point when it is almost certain that the two are going to be separated forever, the father alleviates his son’s anxiety about getting lost in the big, bad world with the words, “ Goodness will find the little boy. It always has. It will again.” The line suggests that ‘goodness’ is, in a sense, distilled from the key ingredients of the state of childhood – innocence, instinct and hope/optimism.

The thought contained in this line immediately triggered off a comic book / graphic novel- style approach in my head. In my interpretation, boyhood is a somewhat superhero state, with a hyper-instinct for goodness. Though the young character is not an embodiment of goodness himself, he can, with his hyper-instinct, manipulate existing sources and draw that goodness within himself, particularly in moments of crisis.

KAPIL SHARMA on his art on ‘HONESTY’

Sitting quietly, I turn within. I am a point of light…I am a soul. In this awareness of I, the soul, I emerge from within my own being, the quality of peace and honesty…When we are not honest with others, we are not being honest with ourselves. One’s own personal truth relates to the universal truth. Honesty is living from the truth of your being, loving yourself and being in integrity with yourself, your needs, desires and life. It’s more important to be remembered for your honesty and good deeds than any other thing. Let the lotus flower bloom within yourself!

KRITI MONGA on her embroidery art on ‘INTEGRITY’

Integrity means consistent action towards one’s values, even when immensely difficult, or as the quote says, when no one is looking. This is aptly represented by the flourishing of a healthy, happy tree, due to the persistent efforts of its roots that themselves remain unseen underground. The painstaking needlework symbolises consistent meaningful action, creating a pointillism-inspired soil that the hand-lettered ‘roots’ have burrowed their way through.

ARCHAN NAIR on his digital art on ‘JOY’

Realising the true self, that we are the infinite, undivided being, the untouched awareness, which embraces all in its love, that there is no separation between anything in creation, that our true nature is happiness and joy.

RAJESH SONI on his painting on ‘KINDNESS’

Since childhood, I have seen the people who are depicted in the art. I love the way they come and play music. For me, they are the best examples of how one can spread kindness and happiness in others’ lives without expecting anything.

ALLEN SHAW on his watercolor art on ‘LOVE’

It’s already a good start when you get “Love” as the word to illustrate. Nudity, illusion, magical, flying and the “holy dove” were some of the words that circled my head while thinking of depicting “love” and at some stage I let watercolours take over. The style used in this artwork is a result of an ongoing series of experiments with watercolours.

NITIN PATEL on his digital painting on ‘MODESTY’

When I had the word “Modesty” assigned to me, the first thing that came to my mind was an iceberg. What we see at the surface is only the partial truth about the Iceberg, bulk of whose form lies hidden. The forms in my art, too, are derived from the physical appearance of the iceberg. Ingrained in the artwork is a play of hues where I have tried to intuitively highlight the emotional qualities associated with the word.

PRASHANT MIRANDA on his watercolour painting on ‘NAIVETY’

For my word Naivety, I had to keep my artwork whimsical. I started with splotches and splashes of colour, not knowing what was going to come about eventually. Then trusting the fact that it would lead to an outcome, not having a clue of what the process would be. I also drew from the line ‘Naivety is the first truth of aesthetics’, and approached it with the most frivolous beginning that led to my final artwork.

SUNAINA SADARANGANI GERA on her acrylic painting on ‘OM’

I am not religious but I am spiritual. I look for meaning in everyday life with a holistic approach to everything I do. I found the meaning of Om vary between schools of theology.What does Om mean to me? What does chanting of Om do for me? The quest resulted in this painting – Om (Shanti) which represents a lady who puts all her daily preoccupations aside and meditates on Om to connect with the universe, and soaks up on positive energy. The play of colour in the background represents the distractions of everyday life. The flow of energy is depicted in fragments of white falling down from the universe.

RAJASHREE BASU KUNDU on her mix media art on ‘PERSISTENCE’

For my visual representation of Persistence, I had to choose a subject which though being soft and naive at first sight, is revealed as a winner. So the idea of a soft plant with tendrils came to my mind. No matter how much obstacles you put in front of it, it somehow manages to outsmart it, works around it, and comes out in full bloom. It remains absolutely unaffected by fences or barbed wires. And while it grows, nature, too, comes to help in a silent way in the form of birds and the bees. Overall, it’s a happy process, nothing to worry about. That’s how anything meaningful grows. So, my artwork, though describing a painful process of growing, shows a happy and cheerful ambience…which shows that one must carry on…regardless.

ASHDEEN Z. LILAOWALA on his watercolour art on ‘QUEST’

The idea was to achieve something difficult and yet make it look effortless. I have created the artwork by drawing with pen on thin fabric foam and allowing the ink to create impressions on paper. Multiple images have been used from my embroidery archive to create a mélange of textures and forms. Some of these forms have been highlighted with watercolour. The image makes you keep searching for new forms and narratives.

ANUJ SHARMA on his installation art on ‘RESPECT’

Every material, every tiny thing that exists in this world, exists for a purpose. The purpose might be small, but it completes everything around us. Handkerchief for example is the smallest fabric piece used and hardly gets any mention. but it does a lot. Every thing we respect, small or big, will give us back for sure. Respect is not what we get, it’s what we give. And it all comes back for sure.

RAJAT NAGPAL on his photo montage on ‘SINCERITY’

“Khalos-e-Baqa, Shiddhat-e-Jahaan; Raqs-e-Bismil, Rubaiyat hai yahaan”

Fourteen years ago, I saw her for the first time. It was love at first sight. She was not the most beautiful in the world but she was certainly the most alluring. She took out everything that was within me and homogenised it with every fragment that makes her. Today, I am as much her as she is me.

Mumbai, you are the grand city that personifies the spirit of Survival. In this piece, I celebrate this spirit. It is an ode to that basic instinct that pushes humans to perform beyond their known capacity and bring out the best of their sincerity.

KAVITA SINGH KALE on her acrylic art on ‘TRUST’

“Virat Mahabhuta”, interprets elements of nature as demigods who are in conflict with monsters that have mutated from the byproducts of human consumption. The series of narrative artworks describe a state of enigma – where battles between the two groups are undecided with the display of power struggle. Regardless of what the final outcome of the collision may be, there is hope and trust that these forces of nature will overpower the evil through self-realization of humanity. If this does not happen, the forces will continue to heal themselves after a tough ordeal to create a new ecosystem that is completely alien to humans. And the latter will be nothing less than the dinosaurs. Khalil Gibran’s quote – ”Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the fate to eternity.” inspired “Virat Mahabhuta”, a supreme force of nature revealing itself in a virat roop (strong and majestic form) as a theophany on the battle field.

PRADIPTA RAY on his mixed media art on ‘UNIQUE’

Masqueraded in masks
Forgets what lies beneath
Beneath lies the core
That is pure
The core that is true
The core that is you
The you that is unique

PRASUN BASU on his watercolour art on ‘VALOUR’

Valour is what this sixteen year old boy showed on the 13th day of the Kurukshetra war.

#Abhimanyu, #Mahabharata, #Kurukshetra War

SUCHARITA SENGUPTA SURI on her watercolour art on ‘WISDOM’

In my art, I have shown Gyan Mudra with the core elements – Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Ether. Gyan Mudra is a powerful mudra (or hand position) practiced for thousands of years by yogis and it supposedly brings peace, calm and spiritual progress. The balance of core elements brings stability, love and joy.

Happiness and Wisdom to me are the conscious unending pursuit of attaining balance and harmony with all elements that surrounds us.

AMIT ASHAR on his photograph on ‘X’

I feel that pictures, photographs are just about impossible to describe in words. Both have nothing to do with each other. This image is my reaction to one of the whispers and nudges that I get from the world around me. It’s the magic in the ordinary. The interpretation is upto the viewer.

PRIYA KURIYAN on her illustration on ‘YOUTH’

It is how we act, what we do and feel that makes us feel youthful and this is what I wanted to depict through this almost mirror image of a grandmother and her grand daughter. But, perhaps the younger girl is just an image of the older woman’s soul – who knows?

SHWETA MOHAPATRA on her illustration on ‘ZEAL’

The artwork here, represents my friend Navleen. Navleen lives in the hills in Vashisth, Himachal Pradesh (India) along with her pet dog ‘Rosa’. She is an artist, maker of various things, nature lover and a free spirited individual full of joie de vivre. Her zeal in life has inspired me to make this artwork, I hope to capture her energy, her beautiful surroundings, her love for nature and animals through this illustration.

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