The Sketchbook project
If we are all products of our journeys, I want to keep a part of every journey I have ever taken.
Being a visual artist and traveller who works with mixed media ( objects, painting, photography and writing) to document my travels and express through art, this project can see traces of inspiration from colour and textures in all her works. Nature has also been a big inspiration in my works hence, this project is also dedicated to mementoes I collected on her journeys across USA, Europe and Asia.
This project started in 2013. Each piece has a unique story, almost like a moment captured from that journey. The warm colour palette of fall in England inspired this project. My last days in London were very special to me. I travelled a lot in the country and English countryside evokes poetry, no doubt so much literature comes from there. Even now I imagine myself sitting on a train on a window seat glaring outside to the vast fields. These pieces are not only of the joy but also about the sadness I held in some of these solo journeys. They remind me of long walks in misty winters, a sense of longing with a sense of joy. A sense of freedom and belonging to those places.
The smallest piece from series has a story. This is picked in Napa Valley, I had gone on a road trip with a couple of friends from San Francisco. On returning from a wine tour I picked this and kept it on the little shelf in front of the seat. I thought my friend who was driving, threw it while cleaning the car. I was very disappointed that hadn't picked it up and put it safely. After 2 weeks of returning home, I found it in a journal. I can't remember when I put it there, but I was so pleasantly surprised about it being there all this while. Like, it wanted to be with me as much as I wanted it to be with me.
In cognac, I had met a friend who lived in the middle of a vineyard in a house that was 300 years old with her adorable family of 5 and pets. She took us around her garden where she grew fresh vegetables and many flowers. Lavenders caught my attention as they were in full bloom and wind blew on them making a unique songlike sound. I got some to make potpourri sachets and one for my journal. When I look at this, I think of the dream-like a weekend at hers, her perfect family, life on the countryside, just like out of a book.
Between New Castle and York in the North of England lies a small town called Durham. It's a little bit like a fairytale as the town is on a hill and small cobbled streets run up and down. The city centre is surrounded by a lake and a castle. I picked this one just outside the castle. I entered a small vintage bookshop and picked a copy of Jane Austen (of course) and used this as a bookmark on the train back. It's difficult to express the emotions this evokes. When I see it I can feel the wind and the sunshine that was on the day, I can hear the Ludivico Einaudi song I was listening to. Its a bittersweet feeling as those times were dreamlike and beautiful and I know I can't have them back, however, I feel lucky to have had them. Sometimes when we are those moments, we don't' realise how special they are.
New York had been very cold. I visited the city in December and stayed for about 5 weeks. I took long walks in prospect park in Brooklyn and central park. All my photos were shades of gold and mustard. This one is from prospect park, I remember I plucked it while I was sitting next to a lake with this park on one afternoon. I was the only one on one bench and sat there for a couple of hours. it reminds me of the despair I had been in. How cold it was, and little sunshine was healing.
I usually carry a sketchbook with me to scribble as well as draw and paint. Here is a project from my travels in the USA and Pondicherry featuring some water paintings and a collage of maps and tickets from Europe.