22nd Nov 2010 - 28th Nov 2010

Celestial Notations : Neena Singh at Jehangir Art Gallery

Neena Singh

Celestial Notations

There was a time, stretched over decades, when I was obsessed with words.  My existence was deeply entrenched in words.  Words defined my being - they were sacred, however gradually I realised that words in themselves had no sanctity and were basically social constructs or social codes for communication.  Although the communication could be fraught with deceit, as words were abstract constructs with no existing reality.   This could render the communication unauthentic and for a person like me, it posed a serious threat of reification, making it life- threatening.   I could lose my being, my sense of self, and the impact of this realization froze me.   It finally dawned on me that apart from words, there were other codes in the universe through which the unknown could express itself.   It was a slow process of self-discovery, which opened me to the warmth of colours and words receded into the background, as I discovered that the medium of words was no longer adequate.  However, the need to express what I was experiencing persisted, which eventually made way for me to express myself through colours and transcend certain experiences.

As I see myself - painting is not a choice – it is an inner compulsion.  It enables me ‘to be’ and ‘to become’, and create a space into which I can return and reclaim those parts of me which are in danger of getting lost to my mundane existence.   My art flows freely without any resistance, helping me to strip all that is cerebral and pretentious and purifies deformities.   It helps me to undergo changes deep inside my being, ripen in my solitude, find and actualise the other in me which muktibodh calls atmasambhava.  

Painting helps me to go beyond the rational pursuits and return to my ‘core’ and reclaim parts of me which get eroded in mundane living.  In my profession, I have the compulsion to operate within embedded structures, however there is a tremendously powerful urge to break away from all these boundaries.  Painting is spontaneous, intuitive and in a way quite basic and truly liberating for me.

My painting is an attempt to get a glimpse of That which sees me.  Gradually I have learnt to surrender to the process and let the presence emerge.  The process of painting creates a twilight zone which bridges the gap between what is visible and what lies beyond the obvious.  In between these two zones infinite possibilities exist and it is in that space where art happens to me...