This self-portrait is a composition consisting of difficult moments which make up a happier whole. Many of the symbols used here are very personal.
The image of a jester comes in part from a character I performed in a school play back when I was about 12. I loved theatre and drama as a child. While I didn’t relate too much to the actual character himself, I did identify with other things we associate with jesters: bright colours, foolishness, servitude (to some royal whimsy), fun, music, self-deprecation, dancing, etc.
Many Mauritians practice Indian classical dance (Kathak) forms, although I was never one of them. That wasn’t important in my family. However, you are influenced by it if you are what is known as “Indo-Mauritian” (ethnically from India, ancestors brought over during British colonialism). It’s a part of the larger culture.
While drawing, I considered the way the rhythm, melody, and dancer’s body must become one in any one of the complex dance forms. They’re considered to be very difficult to learn, and there is a constant struggle to make everything look flawless. I’ve heard “dance is worship” in dozens of Bollywood movies – I get it, I really do. Dance requires your absolute devotion and focus.
With such a link to the divine, I thought it fitting to represent the top of the dancer using a light bulb.
Nature inspires, as usual! This work is obviously inspired by cacti, and also by something whimsical I thought of when I was little: that plants have entire little worlds hidden from us, inside of them.
I drew this a few weeks ago, based on the idea that music lives in our every cell.
It’s a little cliche, sure. But much of art is based on things we’ve seen over and over again.
One of my favourite artists ever is Vasily Kandinsky, who drew music effortlessly (based on his synesthesia) and I would have him no other way. I adore the obvious movement his music-based works have; the clear emotion of his experience.
Just like any other artist, I tend to draw what’s close to home. So while I did think of Kandinsky, these colours and lines are all mine; a representation of my musical “home.”