For the work to happen, its not just the drawing that i might sketch, or the idea that i could think of…
I’m on the free sitting benches in the hills of himachal. Behind me is a valley and I can sit on the bench waiting for the sun to roll over the other side. I have my cutting mat, a yellow coloured large cutter, my sheets of paper and I decide to create a miniature basketball court with a basketball net, rim, back board and a stand. Its one of those moments where I am not sitting inside a cafe with the air conditioner blowing down my back and music disturbing my thoughts. I’m somewhere on the mall road with buddhist monks sitting beside me. The work is happening. I am re drawing the net around the rim of the basketball net.
(Mcleodganj main market, benches near the main bus station)
I think I was engaged with the thought of the railing. how it could connect into the white painted brick wall, and leaves flowing on the outside, the other side of the railing. Thats what I noticed! so i drew them subtly. towards the office space, i saw another railing. It began along the two staircases and then turned after hardly a foot of a distance traveling right into the wall space. A thought came of me shooting a hoop. A half court game! At this time I was obsessed with the thought of the fall. So I imagined if a fall could happen from the railing.
(sketches made at the cafe, Khoj studios, first floor)
Things change when you are in the space when others are working. Its not like the first visit to see the space. I brought my bulldozer as if I intended to fill the whole of Khoj with toys. The bulldozer was meant to bring down one of the pillars. The crane i had to look up on google images. I didn’t know how the crane functioned. I sat in my studio having mango shake, thinking how will the destruction ball strike the wall and then swing back ?
Limited to the cafe seats, painted with figures, i sat everyday watching the horror of the scaffoldings. Innocent men, women banging their heads but not losing spirit. A week passed by and i thought i knew what a scaffolding is. I tried drawing them but lost sense of depth, perspective till i acted as a method actor. Do i have to try everything in life now before i draw ?
I think now it was conversations. Are we even activating anything by creating ? Conversations took over. And i searched for meaning through endless conversations. I just loved the railings but didn’t know what to put on them. Also railings were the only left places for me. Elsewhere giants walked pacing throughout. One fine day, or a night, it was shared to me that these railings have a history, they become places to rest, stop and talk. There are postures we make and then we go our way. Maybe some one should do some work with such spaces, i was told.
(image courtesy Teja Gavankar )
I have sketches always. The ending bit. I have sketches in my head. The ongoing bit. I have sketches which i will draw which are not to be made, could’ve been made, can be made or…
Site or in situ or just because I saw a bee nest and thought why don’t i put a glass jar below and collect some honey ? Am i always in the intention mode, anticipatory mode?
Removed, rejected thoughts. An egg had fallen from the tree. So i decided to catch the egg. first came the four hob kitchen stove. My tava fell somewhere. Then came a kitchen table and i decided to eat the pigeon too. Then I removed it. Maybe I felt it was ok to just play the game of catch.
Was the space deactivated before I came to activate it ? My memory bank, my immediate reaction to being in the space. I think its all about drawing in the moment. And how some spaces which were not part of the picture became so by adding a hand drawn paper cut out. These are invisible to others i feel. But i see a composition, i see a frame with a border in which i place the drawing. I am composing all the time. I’m not sure how others see it but i create my area, a drawn paper in space which does not follow the rules of a two dimensional surface and is in a public space which is not a controlled space.