THE EXPERIENCE OF ART IS A JOURNEY TO TRANSFORMATION
Art is everything.
It is nature, it is love, it is life.
I experience art in my mind, my body, and in the world.
It consumes my thoughts and influences my actions.
It exposes my nature, my purpose.
Art helps me to be present in the moment.
To observe my thoughts and emotions.
To understand how they relate to experiences.
Encouraging me to transcend them.
To know them as neutral, the truth.
Art is my gateway to freedom. It saved me from living in a world of fear and ignorance. Transforming my perceptions into perspectives, helping me to rediscover the boy, the artist in me. From a deep inspection of pain to new interpretations of joy.
Life, like art is a process in creation.
I connect with people, offer them a moment to be present and free to imagine. Through my creativity they discover their own story, memory and meaning. They become the art and create their own masterpieces in their mind in their heart. I simply guide them to my truth, knowing they will see it, react and respond. I know there is an artist in all of us, a super natural power that can manifests endless possibilities. We just need to reconnect to this gift, to access it. My art and journey is testament to this invisible power. From nothing to everything, my story will inspire you to explore your creativity and magic.
WHEN LOOKING AT ART, WE SEE SHAPE, COLOUR AND COMPOSITION. OUR MIND INTERPRETS WHAT WE SEE, AND IMAGINATION WITH EMOTION TRANSFORMS THE EXPERIENCE. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS MAGIC. WE MAY SEE THE ART AND SIMPLY ACKNOWLEDGE IT AS ART, OR WE MAY ABSORB THE CREATION AND FEEL IT. EITHER WAY, ONCE WE ENGAGE ART WE BEGIN A JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY, CREATIVITY AND TRANSFORMATION.
CONSCIOUSLY OR SUBCONSCIOUSLY, WE ARE ALL ARTISTS. AT ANY POINT, WE CAN CONCEIVE FROM WITHIN AND PROJECT INTO THE WORLD. OUR ABILITY TO PERCEIVE, IMAGINE AND CREATE IS OUR SUPERPOWER. IT IS NATURAL FOR US TO MANIFEST IN THIS WAY. WE CURATE OUR LIVES, OUR RELATIONSHIPS AND OUR INTERPRETATIONS. AS WE CREATE, THE WORLD OR UNIVERSE RESPONDS TO OUR IMAGINATION AND PRESENTS OPPORTUNITIES TO FURTHER TRANSFORM WHAT WE SEE, MAKE AND EXPERIENCE.
THIS PROCESS REQUIRES SENSITIVITY, CURIOSITY,
AND COURAGE. IT WILL CAUSE DETACHMENT, VULNERABILITY
AND CONFUSION. IT WILL FORCE YOU TO SEEK CONTRAST AND BALANCE IN EVERYTHING, CHALLENGING MANY ESTABLISHED THOUGHTS AND IDEAS. IT WILL PUSH YOU TO THE EDGE OF UNCERTAINTY AND OFFER NO RELIEF, NO END TO THE PAIN. BUT LIKE ANYTHING IN LIFE, ONCE YOU KNOW YOURSELF, YOU WILL TRANSCEND EVERYTHING, CREATING GOD-LIKE EXPERIENCES.
My art, my story is evidence of my transformation.
I communicate what I see and feel through the medium of visual art.
I create images and stories to convey significant moments from my experiences. Observations of culture, human behaviors, and spirituality. Each piece is a question, a message, or idea. My interpretations of people and the world.
I developed artistic methods over the years in which I
devoted entirely to exploring and perfecting my technique, enabling me to create art precisely as I imagine it to be.
As a child, I was immersed in creativity, living in a make-believe world of adventure and fantasy. I would hide away from everything to paint, draw, sketch and write stories. I enjoyed focusing on one thing, and sitting in silence, patiently creating art and embracing the uncertainty of it all. It made me feel free from the world and connected to something higher, beyond it. This feeling was absolute bliss, and I often experienced it throughout my childhood. The more I felt it, the deeper I connected with it, knowing it was offering me insights into the unknown. Art became my peace and sanctuary; my spiritual playground safely away from everything. No matter the situation or condition of my experiences, my secret relationship with creativity was my escape to another place, another world.
As a teenager, I was immersed in a world of fantasy, make-believe and art. I continually developed new interests and tastes, particularly in fine art, design and fashion. I experimented with many forms of mediums and processes, aiming to understand their qualities and how I could implement them into my work. I enjoyed experimenting with an eclectic range of creative materials and methods. I felt accomplished and confident in every experiment. This period of my life was truly extraordinary for so many reasons. In the real world, I was a quiet, timid, introverted teenager. In my world, I was a powerful, confident, extroverted being from another galaxy. At night creating dreams, in the day, dreaming of the night. I was living with two identities and experiences. I hoped to connect them.
Unfortunately, my early experiences of adulthood completely changed my relationship with art. My family were experiencing some tough challenges that required me to support them fully. I could no longer consider creativity as an option as our lives had changed overnight. So, I stopped creating, knowing at this point, art served no purpose; it wasn't tangible or real enough to add value. I accepted it and prepared myself to ordinary life, that thing that everybody else does, sometimes they smile sometimes they don't, I don't know it. All I knew, was the fear of losing my art and my spiritual lifeline to structures, rules and culture in the conceptual world.
Several years passed, every day was a challenge both mentally and physically. I felt unequipped for the transition, unable to respond to the challenges of everyday life. All that time spent in my imagination and creating art did not help prepare me for a world without it. My only option was to shut off all thought of creativity and conform to what was in front of me. What happened next was truly eyeopening. Over four years, I was continually surprised at how effortless it was for me to take this step and to further conform to society, their behaviours and beliefs. I fitted in, had friends and be entirely accepted as a member of the community, doing what they do, living like them. The sense of certainty was comforting; thinking as a collective was easy and complying to preserve life became the purpose. But even with all this newfound experience, I knew deep down that something was no right. Like I wasn't true to myself. I felt an underlying emotion that I continually experienced and dismissed. Resisting it and feeling it more. The feeling soon manifested in the form of a voice in my mind. It would question me, why are you no longer interested in thinking, dreaming or experiencing your superpower? I continued to ignore it and focus on what was in front of me, no matter how foreign or unfulfilling it was.
I sensed this voice was attempting to divert my attention from the task at hand. It was offering me a way out, but who was that voice, could I trust it now that I am a part of the real world. This constant battle was too painful for me to handle, as my mind and spirit already weakened by the entire process. I became increasingly depressed and lacking in positivity, emotionally void. This negative energy seeped into my behaviours and action in damaging relationships and connections. As a result, I felt isolated and helpless, afraid of asking people for help. And so one day, when I could no longer endure the pain, I attempted the unthinkable and put an end to the pain, the voice and me.
THE BREAK THROUGH
On the last day of December 1999, I woke up to a new reality. I was lying in the hospital after two days of being unconscious. A machine with tubes attached to my arm with fresh flowers by my bed, I was still here, I was still alive. Something saved, stopped me from escaping life. I sense it was that voice, and she came back to tell me something, possibly that I was here for a reason and purpose. I had to listen to it and make a commitment to knowing it. So on the eve of the millennium, I decided to transform my life forever. I burnt all my possessions, relinquished my identity and name and wrote a list of 16 tasks. 1, Dedicate your life to art 2, Become an example of artistic freedom, Understand and embrace the pain. Look for the god in everything. Become the master of your mind. Study the world, its processes and history 5. Be free.
So for the next sixteen years, I sat in a room, with my tasks and with the love of my mother. What I experience next is pure transformation, from nothing to the only thing in the world. I was no longer that scared adult. I was like nature beyond the fear of the unknown, beyond conditions and ready to serve the world with abundant creativity.
Having little formal training in art and as a casual illustrator and fine artist in my early years, my grasp of traditional processes was evident in my sketches and renaissance styled religious paintings. No matter what medium i would use, my art would always I enjoyed learning about conventional artistic methods and styles. The wealth of talented artists from history inspired me to study fine art and experiment with practices and processes. However, I felt incredibly limited by the traditional medium, in particular when using paint, watercolours and pastels. These materials lacked the dynamism I was searching for. I wanted to create visuals that appeared to be multi-dimensional, futuristic and unfamiliar to the eye. I had to expand from the conventional and began to research more contemporary mediums. I delved deep into technology-based tools from image manipulation to 3D animation and graphic design. This period of study gave me further insight into other creative processes and opened my mind to the possibility of perhaps fusing them.
After several years of experimentation, I eventually came across a method that genuinely inspired me. Using a tablet, a digital pen, editing software, scanned photographs and old paintings, I digitally edited images and merged them with graphics, drawings and paintings. This unorthodox experiment gave birth to a particular style of visual. I continued to experiment with these elements, uncovering multiple ways to develop art with photographs and paint.
Photographs are at the heart of my creative process and a point of reference for my art. I replicate and manipulate them using digital tools, fusing them with paint, illustration and other traditional artistic methods. The quality of the art is dependant on the photograph and the photographer's ability to capture a moment that conveys emotion and tells a story. I am drawn to visuals that have meaning and offer a message. I enjoy photographs that inform me and make me curious to know more. When I see an image that genuinely compels, I visualize interpretations of it in my mind, and I see art. For me, the photographer's curiosity and technical expertise must be experienced in their work. I want to see their thoughts and interpretations of everything they capture. Some people take photos to replicate what they see while others have a natural gift to convey beyond the photograph. To me, the gifted are artists, capturing nature and transforming it to theatre, offering breathtaking visuals that provoke the heart and mind.
Photographs have always been a source from which I can explore my creativity. When I see an image, I mentally teleport my self into it, feeling it and reinventing it as art. The challenge to convert what I imagine into something others can see and experience. I had to use my imagination and creativity to transform photographs into a living, breathing moments. It all started with an old photograph of my late grandmother, who was the inspiration behind my very first digital creation. The photo was in black and white and covered in scratches with marks. Her face barely recognizable, but still, I could sense her personality in it, her spirit. In my mind, I imagined alternative versions of the photograph, some embellished with fantasy and others abstract in theme and style. I could visualize and feel the art and had to find a way to create it. So for several years, six to be accurate, I explore every art medium and creative technique available, both traditional and digital, to make my grandmothers art. Finally, on one memorable day in 2007 while on a sleeper train in India, I accidentally discovered a process that helped me create that masterpiece. I traced over the photo of her with a digital pen, altering its tone, texture and composition. I made several version of the tracing, changing elements of it, from its colours, shapes and outlines. I then selected parts of the original photograph and recreated them using oil paint, fine liners, watercolours and mehndi. I then use digital software to merged the tracing with photo scans of the painted elements along with texture and materials. I continued to refine that process and explore ways to enhance the aesthetic and convey emotion further.
The results of this process, the artwork, changed everything. I knew then that had uncovered a way to create art that looks modern, feels traditional and projects my energy. I was excited at the prospect of applying my process with other images and photos. I then searched online for photographers, looking for pictures that related to my interests and curiosities. I contacted those whos work excited me, my request to use their images to create art. I was taken aback by their response. People from all over the world were open to working with me: each one, a potential collaborator with their unique style of work and theme. Over four years, I developed friendships with an extraordinary group of creative people and began the process of testing and refining my process with their images. Our experiments lead us to some incredible art, both aesthetically and meaning. I was particularly excited with the art that was themed around spirituality and traditions and drawn to photographers whos encapsulated the themes in their photography. They were giving me an insight into what was happening there. In particular, those who captured the lives and activities of people in rural areas and cities. They were like real-time reporters of real events. Their photos were high definition, crisp and full of dynamism. I loved the authenticity of the image and was curious to know it, creator. I had to go and visit them all, one by obe and experience their reality. So after 30 years of not leaving England, I made that decision to go to India and feel it. My experiences with these people were merely beautiful, we gelled as people and respected the path we had created and were open to exploring art. wild and at times, mind-bending.
Over an extended period, I was fortunate to have exchanged with over 200 gifted photographers. I travelled to America, India, Dubai and across Europe to meet them and further explore art and life. To date, we created over 2000 pieces of highly detailed, themed art. Some of the highlight of my journey with my collabs - Working with Devanse Javeri in Rajasthani Deserts, India. Creating a visual book for classical and gipsy dancers. He was learning about creative writing with while travelled across the west coast of America with John Awok and his many shamen friends. Understanding the culture in southern India, Chennai with the incredible Arun titan. Developing art with Prabhat Za, during a period where he was capturing stunning images in Nepal. We are creating short films in San Francisco with black activist and San Cohen.
Having little formal training in art and as a casual illustrator and fine artist in my early years, my grasp of traditional processes was evident in my sketches and renaissance styled religious paintings. I enjoyed learning about conventional artistic methods and styles. The wealth of talented artists from history inspired me to study and try multiple practices and processes. However, I felt incredibly limited by the traditional medium, in particular when using paint, watercolours and pastels. These materials lacked the dynamism I was searching for. I wanted to create visuals that appeared to be multi-dimensional, futuristic and unfamiliar to the eye. I had to expand from the conventional and began to research more contemporary mediums. I delved deep into technology-based tools from image manipulation to 3D animation and graphic design. This period of study gave me further insight into other creative processes and opened my mind to the possibility of perhaps mixing them.
For me, spirituality is a process that allows you to inspect with honesty and invent with authenticity, its a conversation, an exchange with yourself. I was fortunate to have been born into a family whose entire life was a spiritual experience. We were immersed in Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity, experiencing its culture, its art, its philosophies. Deep beyond their mystical surface lay profound messages that connected with me.
I understood the details, the nuances and its purpose. The heart of the message conveyed a truth beyond the conceptual world. As a boy, I gravitated to any information that spoke of the hidden world of spirituality, continually in search of secrets from ancient civilisations who attempted to understand the natural world and our place in it.
My curiosity for spirituality peaked the moment I was reborn. I was ready to absorb it and allow it to influence me. I knew it would me ground me to create from a place of authenticity. I explored books, artworks and music, searching for spiritual content. I was drawn to philosophers, spiritual teachers and life coaches who expressed their observations, concepts and ideas. Krishna Murti, Rumi and Lout Zu were at the foundation of this journey. Osho, Alan Watts and Sadguru Vasudev helped me step outside of myself. Ekart Tolle, Joe Dispenza, John Demartini, and a host of teachers gave me insight into my body, mind and spirit.
Somehow, I understood their multi-layered thoughts and ideas about life.The complexity was easy to digest; the value was accessible and applicable—a complete contrast from formal education of the conceptual, conditioned world. I continued to study this content, adopting ideas and observations, revisiting the information and applying it in my life and art. The creators of this information became my teachers, my mentors, my gurus. Their courage and generosity to share insights helped me to understand myself and the meaning behind my creativity. Throughout my 16 years of isolation, my gurus guided me through the pain and led me to become it.
Music has always been a source in my life, the soundtrack to my imagination. It was present from my childhood, in the background, complimenting simple, beautiful moments, decorating them with romance and wonder. It was a constant, a valuable form of energy that made me happy, sad and everything in between. I connected to music, and In fact, we have been secretly collaborating forever. When I hear music, I see art. Vibrations transform into fantastical visuals that appear in my mind and touch the heart. The sound and message transport me to another dimension. In that space, I experience a spectrum of pictures with emotion.
I am deeply in love with all types of music from all across the globe.
However, three genres genuinely resonated with me and influenced my creativity and personality: Indian folk and modern, Hip Hop - jazz, funk and soul, and commercially popular music. Indian music brings soul to my art. It is a holistic adventure that incorporates humanities, philosophies and spirituality. The sound is rich, vibrant and full of fantasy; its message is romantic, authentic and laced with detail. Hip Hop is the spirit in my art, a source of empowerment. It was born from oppression, injustice and a deep understanding of the human spirit. The sound is tribalistic, raw and powerful. Its message is rebellious, subjective, the truth. Popular music is the heart of my art, a route to perspectives. Anyone creates it for everyone. It's communal and neutral. Its sound is elective, a range of compositions and instruments from all over the world. Its message is love.
Indian culture is in my heart. I am bound to it by religion, tradition and love. As a child, every day was an explosion of colour, sounds and detail. Each moment, decorated with Indian music, art, food, practices, teachings, principles and head nods. They were rituals, steeped in history and influenced by spirituality from Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. The experience was unique and somehow connected me to south Asia. It also made me curious about its history and how it relates to mine. I had to explore it, to know who I was.
I am known as a first-generation Indian, a symbol of history, a part of a story that binds England with India. The British Empire ruled India for over 200 years, looting resources and murdering millions of natives. In 1942 after years of protest and prayer, the colonisers left the country, allowing its people to reclaimed its independence. However, the Empire was reluctant to leave in peace and return the resource and wealth that made India such a valuable commodity. Their parting gift was to divide the nation and create further conflict, devastation and division among its vast communities.
The majority of Indians were committed to rebuild the nation, while others sought an opportunity elsewhere, to survive and start again. The world opened its doors to these people, inviting them as guests, offering work and structure. Seas of Indians spread across the globe. Labourers, educators, engineers and experts in science and medicine funnelled to support the many failing economies post colonisation, leaving Indian with a further deficit. I witnessed this part of the story, both mum and dad fleeing their homes, in Africa and India to seek refuge in England, as did our neighbours from Pakistan and friends from Bangladesh. I remember it well; a community of immigrants, together in humble settings, practising their faith and traditions while doing what they could to earn and survive. In doing so, they endured hardship and challenge, from racial prejudice to inequality and acts of violence and abuse. They were also suffering from a monumental loss, the emotional strain of leaving their identity, families and hearts behind in India. The phycological damage caused by the partition of India truly impacted my parents and the broader community of Asian immigrants, leaving them with a deep-rooted pain and trauma. There seemed to be a price to pay to be free and authentic in your land and now in a foreign land. This realisation forced me to review my perceptions of it all as an Indian born in England, enjoying the English culture knowing its rulers were directly responsible for destroying my parents, ancestors heritage. I felt their pain, and I felt their love, I had so much appreciation for my parents and all who had similar journies. The strenght if indian culture can be found in the family, the way all generations live together and exchange knowledge, love and respect is very beautiful and creates sense of togetherness of unity i nthe home and with fellow idnains, creating a strong, family oriented socity which allows for so much value for the world.
I was in awe of their courage and spirit for facing their challenges while retaining their dignity, preserving their principles and way of life. No matter the circumstance or conditions, their culture would always shine, be visible among the chaos and confusion, I was permanently exposed to it, both the traditional and new. In particular, during the 80s and 9Os when Indian culture evolved outside of the motherland. Indian immigrants across the world were establishing themselves in their new communities, and influencing their landscape, creating modern interpretations of their traditions. They drew inspiration from ancient Indian wisdom, spirituality, and the arts, forming adaptations of their culture and merging it with their current experiences. It was a renaissance of self-expression expressed through, music, entertainment, film, literature and business. This movement impacted the world and gave us fist generation Indians hope and inspiration. It was like being apart of a secret club of lost people who were reinventing their identity for the world to see. I also wanted to be apart of it, to create something and contribute to the anglo Indian landscape. But to create with authenticity and love, I knew I must also represent the Englishman in me, without whom my appreciation of Indian culture may have been very different.
English culture is in my spirit, and I am drawn to its personality and character. There is something extraordinary about its land and people, a small country with a unique philosophy that shaped history and impacted the modern world. They influenced all cultures to adopt their language, industry, religion and values. They conquered nations with violence, strategy and intelligence, transforming the lives of millions. However, we perceive their actions and intentions to dominate others; their capacity to manifest power was extraordinary. I recognised this from the moment I was born in England, and somehow, I felt a part of it.
My exposure to Indian values and traditions influenced my early memories of the culture, some aspects from both aligned while others clashed. This contrast helped me to understand them both and highlighted some extraordinary qualities of the English that enhanced my overall experiences. The most beautiful qualities were the honesty of the people. All my interactions with English felt genuine. They responded to authenticity and personality, which gave me so much confidence to be myself at all times. Unlike Indian culture, there was less judgment of actions and ideas from all members of the community, no barriers regarding class or status. People were open to interaction and collaboration, giving them the freedom to chose how they lived and with who.
It too gave me the license to dream beyond what was expected from me by my parents and their society. They were grooming me to embrace their ideology, plan for me, get educated, get a reputable career, get a wife and kids and follow Hinduism. The process in their eyes to a successful life. I was not alone in this experience. All my friends and peers were experiencing similar expectations, so the freedom that was available outside of our house offered hope but also conflict. But I believe so much good came from this dynamic for both us and our parent's generation. In particular, the women who otherwise restricted by Indian tradition, they were able to explore and experiment with life, to be self-sufficient, form standards and pursue interests that truly captivated them. In fairness, we all had access and benefited from this freedom, even my parent's community began to integrate it into their lives, evolving their mindsets, interpretations and behaviours.
England freedom of choice was due to the abundant with resources and opportunities for its people, from education, religion, work and lifestyle. The country is organised and its people congruent to its rules and regulations, you can get things done here, and possible project them into the full world due to the strength of the countries ties and influence around the world. I saw it as a gateway to whatever you want. You can simply earn and live or learn and dream. Some of this order and its prizes were in sync with Indian values, in particular, to secure education, a career within a framework that supports the creation of family and further prosperity was inbuilt into us from day one, the only difference came with the expectations from our parents. But i could see them soften and adapt to how their children were evolving. This made my parents generous begin to trust in the English more and open up to them as fellow humans who want similar goals and dreams.
One quality that truly helped shift this old minset was the english people ability to find humour and fum in any situations, the grimmer the more funnier the communication. My favoutite childhood memeries centre around the fun times iv had with my english friends. Theier humour was the perfect mx of clever and silly and you could see it an all aspect of their cummincation wiht each other. I loved it and bacmae a fan of it and some of its most iconic comedians and writes. Actually you could say i was a total geek when i came to English humour
so much time observing, find the contrast in things that I totally got it and used it at shcoll, at home everywhere, it helped my to become better a socialising, making friends and influencing people. That also goes for the pop culture of England. The vast movement of ideas through entrainment was exciting and appealing. The music is appealing to me the most. I loved the simplicity and passion in it and the diversity of englich musicans in terms of their ethnicity and culture. I was into the soul to soul, pet shop boys and the Beatles, all English and all bring their qualities and creativity to form one, unique sound. I was amazed by the diversity, and it made me explore how other immigrants from other countries who arrived here in the same ear were experiencing their new life too. I began to mix with every day and form relationships to know more. I recognised that especially with the African immigrant community, with who I share a love for hip hop and soul music. They had similar experiences and were subject to abuse and ridicule, however, they did not allow it to dampen their spirit, and they celebrated their culture and truly impacted pop-culture here since there arrival. Not to mention the Chinese communities who too It was apparent we had all felt the pain of being here but also felt the love of the nation for many reasons. England ability to adopt cultures and celebrate it together. Due to the negativite perception of the englich based on the hisortial events thet are percoed as hard nosed bullies but really we also have to appracite how maluable they were to us, allowing us to integrate within one genration. The confilcts and racism were very real and i trully accept them but also we must see this side as it shows the differences in its policticala gendas and what the the people really feel and behave in their life. The people and its politics were not conmected, in fact the people haboured a low opinion of their historical past and intentions.
Imigrants from afirca, asia and europe all living tother in ine one land, fusing their cultures and spitiualities, resulting in unique creativity and vision. The diversty is their rich, their wealth. Pealoe welcome to the food, the music and many aspects of the spirituality. It was a golden moment for me, a period where excited to know from each other ans share
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