Pastiche Pulp

A light hearted (and in part, deeper) explanation

The Shape of Things to Come  |  mixed media (archival print and acrylic) on wood

The Shape of Things to Comemixed media (archival print and acrylic) on wood

In keeping things simple, these quirky, playful works are made up of digitally layered and collaged photographs, (both original and sourced). They are pieced together, in the first instance, using some references of other artist's works ('Pastiche') and created in a concentrated way where streams of consciousness were let run free, pulling the works to their own, intimate conclusions. It would be dishonest (or pretentious) to claim being a mere passenger, but as much as one was able, the thoughts were allowed to run free over hours, or days, (albeit with some of life's inevitable interruptions) in a focussed frenzy of visual and symbolic ideas.

She Whispered Him a Lovesong  |  mixed media (archival print and acrylic) on wood

She Whispered Him a Lovesongmixed media (archival print and acrylic) on wood

At an all together separate time, a few visits to scrap yards yielded a somewhat random but nevertheless interesting collection of displaced junk (or as they say, another man's treasure). This collection of physically (and perhaps emotionally) damaged bric-a-brac ('Pulp') was mended, rejuvenated and (temporarily) saved from extinction.

Thereafter, the junk and collages were aligned to each other, impulsively but purposefully in an unlikely but spirited merger, the kind found when Oscar met Felix (as in 'The Odd Couple') or when Harold met Maude (or when Ann Darrrow met Kong etc etc), resulting in the whimsical but meaningful works laid out here.

Copy of Another Woman, Sitting  |  mixed media (archival print and acrylic) on wood

Copy of Another Woman, Sittingmixed media (archival print and acrylic) on wood

Delving deeper, these pieces when looked at as a whole push forward the temporary nature of all things. The recycled bric-a-brac, the earthly materials, the archival inks as much as we wish for their longevity and craft them using modern technology, building them to 'last', they represent only the fleeting moment of the present when viewed with a wide-eyed perspective in the grand scheme of life, which is what these works (in part) attempt to do. Here today with strength and fortitude, purpose and meaning but eventually gone tomorrow with at best a mere twinkle...they, like us all, will eventually return back to the earth, decomposed or dusted with the momentary and hopefully joyful memory of what once was.

   

Afterglow

It will in all likelihood remain one of those unanswered questions, as to when exactly be the beginning...there is no real measure, no precise point; it all flows as evolution, from one thing to the other, to yet another, ad infinitum. One can never trace back to any one particular moment as a starting point for anything as something would always have preceded it, every split second is arrived at by cause and carries on through to its effect, and it never leads or follows linearly but rather haphazardly.

From this seemingly random notion (although, of course it has probably been caused), a purpose seemed to form. The exact where and when it germinated from is naturally undeterminable, and for the sake of concision, let’s say it came from the north west breeze and somehow found itself drawn to a vacant imagination, and saw that as a place to bury itself and nest till it was fully grown. A tad speculative perhaps, but what is certain, is that in this case, and for no apparent reason except that of intrigue and redundancy, these photographs of botanic life were taken. The subjects appeared rather interesting, enchanting, and finite examples of the earth’s motion and were stumbled upon by what appeared at the time as pure chance, and so without hesitation their images were recorded. The reproductions themselves were raw and unconsidered, not one puddle was rippled or a single petal adjusted, it is as it was, as nature had created.

Images of the fungal growth on rocks stirred by the remnants of sea water at Maintencillo, Chile; the century old stalactites ignited from the ceilings inside caves at Postojna, Slovenia; the minuscule algae remains on rusted wave breakers in the South Coast of the United Kingdom; and the lake weeds and felled flowers found at the edges of a pond in Windsor, England. These wondrous and apparently unrelated examples of the earth’s ever morphing mechanism, captured and shelved for further inspection at an undecided later date.

Time had caused and effected many times in the interim and on a muggy mid-morning in March, perhaps through human nature or rather the conditioning of human thought that seeks to empower itself, to control and create to form one’s own vision, furthering one’s own understanding, these simple, raw images were begun to be, using man-made technologies, manipulated (the hell out of) in colours and textures to create something new, otherworldly, unique and obscure; and in the main quite unrecognisable to the original capture.

These renewed, stark and powerful images seemed to evoke the spirit of the cosmos and prompted thoughts to drift back again to the nature of time and that of the infinite moments throughout that had collated together to bring us to the point of now (or then as it was). But, of course that point was never still, there is no such thing, no still time...no still life...no still photograph...a rather interesting observation resulting in the fracturing of some of the photographs, whose imagery was also repeated partially or wholly in the final display and pitted against undisturbed, clean images, representing the movement of time. Can a ‘still’ photograph represent the movement of time? Well, within this discourse, we can waft like the zephyr, so why not.

Taking the creation further, the foreground, albeit manipulated by man, justified a representation of the earth, of nature, of environment, of all things organic and elemental. But, the mere man-made manipulation of the imagery did not seem enough (is it ever enough?), so delving further into the imagination and keeping within the broad parameters of the initial reasoning, came the representation of man as a whole, in a generic form, through photographs of original and pre-existing cave drawings - those prevailing statements of validating existence, uncertainty and the fight for survival. Perhaps those walls were marked by a single person, acting alone without any prompting from his fellow man, one will never know...but that expression of the individual amongst the many is as relevant then as it is now, and from that came the typography and words of one voice struggling to be heard, a voice that will never be heard in its entirety, partly due to being crowded out under the many and partly through his own ignorance, in the end no one truly understands what they’re trying to express anyway, only that they need to express that.

Looking back, and gauging the series as a whole, it seems to elicit a fluid, boundless energy, that which touches the eternal and radiates a sensibility of the oxymoronic collisions of the natural environment with the ethereal, all bound together by a dreamlike, meditative state of mind, that remains calm and still and yet is in perpetual motion, a motion that never ceases, like thought or time or the constant evolution of life forms that eventually all return back to source and turn into one endless being, forever breathing.

And so, in the end (and the beginning), with neither of these to hold us down, we float along, like the ever-evolving north western breeze, timeless.

A statement of interpretation (no doubt there will be others) by Kushag

'Afterglow' was exhibited at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai in January 2013