The exercise comprised of translating five emotions into a graphic form in 30 seconds each. This gave us extraordinarily little time to think about anything. 30 seconds was just enough time to pick the available material and express. Following are the images of 5 emotions expressed peace, excitement, dissatisfaction, laziness, and confusion.
I guess when we are in crunch of time, we always turn to things which we know or have accepted; accessing our subconscious for forms, shapes, directions, colours, gradation, beliefs, etc.
When all these expressions of emotions were to be composed, I did not think of them as emotions but just mere shapes to be composed. To my surprise, al lot of visual connections amongst these are true in the way the emotions exist in me.
The discussions about these associations revealed things about me which I did not know or wasn’t aware of. Some of them came as a surprise as they were bang on accurate! Some of the interpretations did not seem to resonate to me. For example, by looking at the entire collage, it felt like it is a sad and dark place with a splash of color in it. Well, I believe I am a colorful person. But later I realized that off late, the dark and sad has been a heavier part of my life. It is not a constant part but currently it was! In a way this exercise provided a window to the deeper layers in my mind. In another interpretation, the expression of peace was interpreted by others as dark, stain-y, unsettling peace. Other participant’s peace was light in colour (mostly blue – blue which stands for peace and calm), and the form of the expression was more open lines and flowy. Well, I disagreed first as I liked to interpret it as a ‘gehera’ (like- ‘mue kapas pe rang na ruke, rang itna gehra tera, ki jano jigar tak bhi rang de’– Rangrej song from the film Tannu weds Mannu) – in depth – a ‘peace which has depth’ expression. But then it made me realize 2 things
- No peace (any emotion) is similar, does not have to be. There are so many layers and depths! One cannot compare.
- People perceive/interpret with their own experiences. Interpretations are not facts. They tell a lot about the person who is interpreting. The interpretations help look at things differently due to which new links and layers can surface.
I remade the collage again as certain expressions were not clear. In the confusion, I wanted to show a lot of different mediums coming together in a directionless manner. This was not evident in the first expression. Also the expression of laziness, though interpreted correctly, in the collage seemed weak.
This interesting exercise made me wonder: is the subconscious all encompassing???!!!
Above is the collage completed after the exercises of narration and abstraction of narration in the form of tableaux. This process of expanding and abstracting made us look at these emotions once again. I realized that few emotions cannot be without other emotions. The emotions are always layered and interconnected. for example, the confusion stage for me always has some degree of sloppiness and it is fragmented! I had never observed the quality of an emotion in spatial terms before. I started observing dimension of spatiality for other emotions after the exercises. For example, the laziness initially as I understood was just dropping down. After performing the tableaux in different spaces I realized that it also has a spread along with heaviness and gravity. The black in the last iteration is a representation of the spread and also a general low state of energy which encompass other low energy emotions.