Monday, 24 April 2017

INDIA part 1


India itself seems to be somewhere between Sanyassin and Bollywood .........
On the edge is(to be)   in the middle
in between is to be on an edge
what does it mean to be "edgy "  It sounds like neither one thing ot the other right ?
I found India to be exactly that .
On the one hand there is a sensuality that is almost overpowering in terms of smell colour and decoration. At the same time , as one floats  or  is propelled unceremoniously along amidst this profusion of  flora and  fauna ,(albeit squirrels crows eagles dogs and cows) in an auto rickshaw, there is the ashram ,its simple food , modest dress code and religious devotion  .

I went to Pondicherry on a pilgrimage and  lived there for two months .



;
 My father had sailed that coast known as the Coromandel coast, stretching from Calcutta to Ceylon on the Bay of Bengal many times before I was born and for a while thereafter also.  My earliest memories of my father were his homecomings to our  calvinist  family home in Scotland , bearing exotic gifts for my mother.  I fell in  love with  India and  Ceylon ,with  Kandi ,sitting atop a small high mountain ,was  I fanticised, my domain , I felt from that time on , that I really had been to Calcutta  Madras ,Ceylon and everything in between  and that I knew this coast and its Tamil people .
India became  and remained  integral to my sense of identity . Coupled with some stories my father read to me ,that  were not Rudyard Kipling that's for sure , were written in  language that was as exotic as the gifts he brought  and more like something from the bible ,Thus a pathway developed in my brain that led me far far away from Grey Gables in Bonnie Scotland to India where people, gods and goddesses were interchangable
Of course I did not continue to perpetuate the idea of my Royalty but India  went deeper and deeper into the deepest recesses of my imagination and became real.




Part 2
 The second reason is way deeper ..and yet a little shallow too and it may be harder to explain 

I had come accross the artist  Francesco Clemente some time in the 1980/'s  at a time when  conceptual work abounded and painting was considered dead.

                                 Image result for Francesco Clemente Water and Wine (1981)
                                                " seed"1991 by Francesco Clemente

 I was attracted to the freedom ,eccentricity , sensuality and the strong  expressionistic rather  mysterious and very personal  eroticism of Clementes' work ; its   midnight , almost drunken yet very clearly defined psychic quality  . It looked to me  like it could be incredibly meaningful or utterly shallow and meaningless .I can only say I was drawn to these qualities . There was something that I recognised ,something that resonated with my own creative impulse.


It was from this Italian born artist that I learned of Pondicherry . I learned that here the hand-made paper industry of  Pondicherry was reinvigorated . and that Pondicherry was the papermaking capital of India .( Im not sure that this is the case incidently)  I marvelled at this hub of art material was situated  on the coast  my father had plied and positively thrilled at the idea of large scale handmade paper production .
My dream of a place where I would feel as though I belonged took flight . I was there , in my every waking hour , I was there  like Clemente and felt a strong desire to also have his experience ,I felt that paper and saw all the colour and sights that had inspired so much of Clementes’ oeuvre and held within it a voice I recognised as close to my deepest and truest self aka my soul It was my voice also  .
Much more of my relationship with Francesco Clemente later on as this is very complicated and dificult to express well .


There are 2 more “coincidences” , where my souls’ desire and this bit of coast coincided , it was like I was being enfolded in a warm familial embrace.

some links to Clemente




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