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Artist of The Day I Sonali Laha

Title: A Moon Over Insomnia

Medium: Tempera on Wasli Paper Size: 54 X 66 Year: 2021

ARTIST STATEMENT: I think using self-love and nowness to spread happiness is the ultimate act of resistance. Through this, I'm attempting to describe the journey of the human mind, body, and soul as well as how they interact with one another in diverse contexts. I constantly strive to make my thoughts and experiences visible through my artwork, creating an unending road to remembering. I have realized that it is crucial to bring light into the dark places in life. The natural world and everyday life become significant components of my work. Self-aesthetics, inner spirituality, everyday socio-political life, and meditation influence my creative output. Traditional Indian tempera paintings and miniatures inspired me. It has a strong history and aesthetic. Now I'm trying to figure out how to express the traditional tempera process in modern language. And I am trying to use this aesthetic in my work. Through art, I can speak about things left behind and unseen today. I feel we are all born in this world with a certain purpose, and we should have some responsibility towards that. In this way, the concept of "Joining Dots" came into my work. We go through many situations, those situations can arise from society, personal life, or something. But these situations help us grow. I called all these situations "dots" in our lives. If we joined all these dots, we could understand ourselves better and why we came to this world. I'm fascinated by how our surroundings evolve throughout time and develop new layers. If we strive to see the depth of these layers of experience for ourselves, we are the only ones who can arrive at the underlying truth. Investigating layers aids in my media exploration. On Wasli, I mostly use classic medium tempera. The creation of Wasli and pigment colours is a process I appreciate. For me, the surface is like skin, and all the colours dig deeper into it to create a vibrant result. I utilize space for installation as well. I utilize many different materials, including my own hair which has fallen out, silk, wood, fabric beads, etc to create the notion. The dialogue between life and death is an important element in my work. Life and nature represent the idea of life. And the particular colour of red that I have been using, it’s looks so real, like fleas, blood, or love. But somehow, people still have hope. The star, sun, moon, and gold leaf that seem to emerge from the dark in my work represent the hope that despite everything people somehow sustain their hope for a better future. My works are modulated through a socio-political reflection on the precariousness and inherent violence of the contemporary world. Ultimately, whether presented in large-scale or small formats, works tend towards an aesthetic, religious, and spiritual inquiry on the proximity of creation and destruction, and recreation, in all aspects of life—engaging the viewer on both a visceral and spiritual level.



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