A bite of art

How far can you go in search for inspiration? I travelled as far as London. Let art, music, theatre, food, history burst open before my eyes to discover that all of it existed in pockets of Shillong, in bits and pieces, in fragments strewn around that most often go unnoticed. It is like a running stream of water under the earth just waiting and keeping watch for creaks and crevices to flow out from.

Inspiration of the sort, I constantly need to be in touch with is rare to find. And yet when u look closely, it is in the normal humdrum of life where all the poetry exists. That haunting ecstasy of being transported into another world, drugged by shots of madness that actually constantly surrounds you even perhaps in the heaps of rubbish at the corner of the road. A twisted can of Pepsi, with every remnant of liquid sucked out of it…..a pack of chips, emptied to the core, an apple half chewed, half neglected, gathering a muddy brown tint and being royally hosted up to be feasted upon by a colony of ants! That is poetry, that is art. How far do you need to go?

And what about the music? No studios can create what you find right out there on the busy streets of Shillong. Talk of the rush hour, the honking cars, the zooming bikes, the chattering voices, the haggling shoppers, the click-clacking of heels on eternally dug up pavements what might seem like cacophony is actually pure music, divine in a
way, a raw divinity you can’t escape from.

That brings me to ‘David Shrigley’. An artist known for his sarcastically humorous cartoons released in softcover books or postcard packs. As an artist he uses a deliberately limited technique, his forms are pretty crude and poorly executed but in some conventionally, unconventional way lends all the necessary comic effect it needs to. Not to rule out the fact that his works of art, the texts he writes are all thought-provoking with a hint of humour. In a recent exhibition of his he had an illustration of what someone’s tombstone could look like. The epitaph instead of giving details of the deceased person, had instead a list on it mostly with names of food items had for breakfast and included the mention of aspirin. Funny but you need to read between the lines. Makes you laugh but says more than what you see. One of his postcard creations has a pair of hands holding a crystal ball, with the caption “I can see your future” and in the ball you see the word “arthritis”. Yes that is the inevitable future in store for us. Where did we lose track of those little details when we plan it. Another illustration has a little puppy, holding up a placard that says, “I am dead”.

Need I say more, these are the little things that matter. All around us art just exists waiting to be explored.

Rosemary Ishorari

Chameleon Press Staff

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