Reminiscence and Reflection

The start of a new chapter of studies began with the first class of studio based on Body Memory Architecture. The anxiousness and nervousness of the first day was to be channelled in the right way to kickstart this new journey, and I was excited to discover how the journey will turn out and how I will turn out to be at the end of it. The first stepping stone in that travel was to associate and visually depict emotions with past and present experiences.

The thought of rewinding to memories as well as scrutinising the present environment was overwhelming. How would my mind become a video cassette that can be wound and rewound without being stuck, sufficiently enough to visualise a particular scene and strongly enough to sketch it on paper? But that’s how fear works right? One becomes so lost in fear of losing or failing in something that the curiosity to attempt is kept within its darkest shadows. So, I decided to light it well enough to find my way to the lost curiosity while conquering my reluctance and fear of sketching and manual working.

Once the hurdle of fear was crossed, the rest of the bridge required passion and hard work to go hand in hand. Flipping through tonnes of memories collected over nearly the past two decades had to be scrutinised to identify places that emote solitude, intimacy and congregation. It was fascinating to discover then as to how wonderfully the mind works when in the right place. As I settled in my workplace to begin the work, flashes of various fragments of my life that can be associated with these emotions ran through the interior visual screen. This made the process of sketching so much easier than I had dreaded, seeming as though I am referring to a personal picture collection. And who wouldn’t want to reminiscence old memories and smile upon the happy moments created within the blink of an eye! With this, the anxiousness towards the first step of sketching from memory turned into a nostalgic and pleasant start.

Now enough of nostalgia! Lets come back to the present! After all, its the present and the emotions associated with it that keeps us alive and lively. This was discovered and realised while sketching from observing the surrounding. The repetitive back and forth movement of the eye between the paper and the subject of sketching while capturing the details of the vision seemed initially to be a tiring monotonous process. But, with time, as the frequency of it reduced by retaining the view in memory, I discovered how wonderfully memories can be held in detail through simple practice. Also, the process of reflecting it on paper registered the details in mind through muscle memory that would have otherwise become fleeting memories in the short glances that one takes at the surrounding.

While the introduction to these practices led to new realisations on the functioning of one’s one body and mind, the other integral part of the task, to iterate the sketches, brought in a new perspective. The discussion of works always introduces the scope of improvement and betterment. Reflecting on one’s work and accepting scrutinising feedback from peers and tutors shifted the focus on the weakness of the sketches rather than being satisfied with the completed work. The discipline of updating and progressing in one’s work was an important dimension of work that I came to enjoy along the process. It instilled a sense of agility and endeavor in aiming for excellence.

However, the focus of this task was not only to create memories of one’s surroundings, but was also to become aware of oneself, our body and realise its interaction with the world. A collage, made to visually depict it through mixed usage of material, was not just for an aesthetic appeal but also to portray the versatility that I discovered within myself while reflecting upon the outcome of the collage.

Thus, the entire process culminated to create awareness about the most neglected and obvious things in the world- oneself and our routine environment. It created an understanding of the stability between the body and the surrounding, that is otherwise taken for granted. By bringing the obvious to the limelight, the discoveries made got me to analyse the known that actually had several layers of unknown underneath it. The reminiscence and reflections added a new dimension to my vision.

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