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Origin 2009

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Inspite of my best intentions to upload Origin pictures right away, I wasn’t able to. Here they are:

Somerset House Entrance

Opening Night

Trying their hands at making baskets

My Stand

Basketry Intervention



Set Up Day at Origin

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I will be updating you all on Origin through the week. 


We were all dressed and ready to leave at 7:30 am yesterday, waiting with great excitement to set-off for London. Except the excitement soon turned to concern and then to near-panic when by 9 am the van and driver we had booked didn’t arrive. How utterly unprofessional! Ughh!

All van rentals are closed on Sunday, the few car agencies that were open didn’t have anything available. We finally managed to get a taxi to drive us from Bath to London. You don’t even want to know how much that cost! 

Anyway, after a bit of a dramatic start the day went on swimmingly. We arrived at Somerset House at noon. Helped by two lovely porters ‘Ace’ and ‘Lightning’ all the work was in the stand in a flash. 

As you might know, Origin takes place in a purpose-built pavillion which is set up annually in the courtyard of Somerset House. It is a spectacular neo-classical building which stands on Embankment overlooking the Thames and hosts art and cultural events through the year. The views from the Somerset House are legendary. The London Eye, Southbank Centre, the Ghirkin all stand as if arranged in a picture-perfect composition. 

My stand is at a lovely spot in the pavillion. It’s under the skylights, right in front of the ‘activity’ area where basketry workshops and demonstrations will be held. While putting up the work we were cheered up by lazy clouds flitting across the blue skies. 

I finished off the evening with dinner at Rasa Samudra with friends and some divine Malayali food. 

Today is the gala evening where press and guests are invited for a preview. 

Looking forward to it! I’ll be back with more things to share at the end of the day.

Walking in My Mind

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Finally caught the ‘Walking in My Mind’ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London on Friday just in time before it closed on Sunday .  Fantastic installations of mindscapes by 10 artists, taking us on to a journey through mental processes if creativity. Weirdly wonderful…and wonderfully weird. My favourite was Chiharu Shiota’s installation After the Dream, which was a dense web-like structure created with wool thread creating a floor to ceiling mesh. In the centre of this jungle-like mesh were five white dresses suspended  seemingly hovering in air, almost as if they were dancin. Beautiful, intriguing and vaguely disturbing. Here are some images


The Hayward

Yayoi Kusama’s installation on the terrace


Yayoi Kusama’s art originates from her hallucinations. Polka dots are a central feature of her work.

Charles Avery

Thomas Hischhorn made a tunnel like installation that led into different ‘rooms’ where books, photographs, foil covered mannequins were kept.







Nominated for Arts Foundation Fellowship!

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Exciting news! I have been nominated for Arts Foundation Fellowship. The Arts Foundation awards five £10,000 Fellowships annually in five different art forms.The Fellowships are not open to application. Within every art form a network of established, practising artists and other professionals are selected to nominate one artist they believe should win the award. Awards are made on the basis of both talent and need to artists living and working in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Channel Islands.


I’m thrilled to be nominated!

Bolt

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My favourite athelete, triple Olympic champ Usain Bolt was in London on Friday at the London Gran Prix. And he won. In such style! , His laid back attitute, the way he simply enjoys himself on the track , his dance moves, his open delight at winning and his energy are such a far cry from tense faces one usually sees on the track. It’s just such fun to see him in action. More power to him!

Usain and his golden shoes at Beijing Olympics


I have been lusting after these spikes since Beijing


For those of you who’d like to watch it again, here’s a link to his London GP race.

http://www.usainbolt.co.uk/usain-bolt-london-grand-prix-high-quality-video/

Anita Klein

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Small Angel-Stars


Pyjamas-with-stars (This one reminds me of my mum)

Nige-free-toy ( I love this one.! It makes me smile).


How I love Anita Klein‘s work!

“At a time when the art world seems to be full of artists attempting to shock and denigrade, Klein’s intimate, life affirming work comes as a welcome breath of fresh air. Her works convey a unique pleasure in the everyday moments that make life special.

Vincent Eames, The Fine Art Partnership

So true! Just looking at Anita’s work is an uplifting experience for me. Her simple lines, beautiful colours and composition and most of all her intimate subject matter are a joy. I am so cross with myself for having missed her exhibition at the Bankside Gallery last month.

Can’t wait for the day I will own one of her heart warming paintings.




Dilli

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Strains of the latest Bollywood number “Yeh sheher nahin hai mehfil hai…yeh Dilli hai mere yaar” (This isn’t city, it is a party. This is Delhi my friend.) floated from the radio in my car. Smiling at my beloved Neem and Gulmohar lined Lodhi road, I couldnt agree more.

The city is indeed an exciting party for me. It’s home, comforting in its familiarity and yet exciting because the city lives in several centuries at the same time. So one minute you would pass by a 13th century tomb and the next, a glistening metro station. Delhi never fails to enchant me.

On my last visit a couple of months ago, I decided to take a walk with Art Historian Navina Jafa to know my city a bit more intimately. The walk focused on Sufism in India. Walk began at the Humayun tomb and took us to the Nizamuddin Dargah (A dargah is a Sufi shrine built over the grave of a revered religious figure, often a Sufi saint) and Humayun’s tomb.


Here are some pictures of our walk


Dr. Navina, our walk-leader introducing us to Sufism, the architecture and how the idea of being buried close to the the durgah took root and the became the preferred burial spot with graves of a Mughal princess, poets, musicians and royalty buried around. the shrine


I loved the tacillations on the Roof. The place was an oasis of calm in the midst of a busy bazaar
The tomb of Delhi’s famous poet Mirza Ghalib- he’s one of my mum’s favourites

On the way to the Nizamuddin Durgah. People selling offerings for the Saint like rose petals and chaadar ( a richly decorated piece of cloth offered to cover the grave as a mark of devotion and often as thanks for a blessing)

Tomb of Mughal Emperor Akbar’s wet nurse

And suddenly a group of pigeons swooped across the terraces, followed by another group from the terrace opposite. Ishq-baazi! Ishq-baazi (literally love-play) is a pigeon flying game that has been played in India since the Mughal times and contitues to be popular even today in some parts of Delhi.

Ishq-baazi



And finally the Nizamuddin Durgah

Sufi music lovers and devotees gather every Thursday evening to listen to music performances at the Durgah. The Quwwals (Quwwali is a form of devotional Sufi music; singers are called Quwwal) sing the same compositions they have been singing since the 1200s. We were treated to an amazing performance by the Nizamis at the Durgah. They invited us to their house where they have lived for generations and sang the most beautiful Sufi compositions I have ever heard. It was magical!

Website troubles

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My website is off-line at the moment due to some technical issues. We are trying to fix the problem. Hopefully it would be up again soon.


Please come back to take a look later. :)