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Conversation Saturdays

by Shibu Arakkal Leave a Comment

The invitees and I experienced the first of many ‘Conversation Saturdays’ to come, this past 25th of February.

My idea was to invite a very specific ensemble of creative people (“creative” in the widest sense of its definition), arriving at a specific dynamic and to have a freewheeling conversation without agenda about creativity and our personal thoughts and philosophies as well as our struggles with it.

The guidelines for the idea were also to have robust debates and not be anchored to predisposed standpoints without good reason and to not have to be politically correct but also to humbly accept ideas or thoughts that might prove your own wrong.

Conversation Saturdays 1 brought together artists Aarohi Singh, Clyde D’Mello, art & literature lover Sumeet Shetty and my very self.

I started off CS1 with my curious question about the role and relevance of actual creation in the creative process of art. And that creation to not be mistaken or disguised as manufacturing, craftsmanship by commissioned artisans or putting together of readymade objects to create an artwork.

I was in fact curious about an artist’s technical ability, traditionally understood to be one half of an artist’s ability, along with his creative expression/philosophies/thoughts.

Clyde sighted the example of an artist who had “created” an artwork of two mechanical watches wound and synched to have them displayed and for the audience to watch them over time go out of synch. The thought behind the work being similar to how lovers grow apart over time.

Without reservations about the idea’s profundity and the unique creative expression, the execution as a matter of fact, was devoid of any actually technical process of creation. And although an artist could create one-offs or works that stray outside of his/her technical ability and I think that it is perfectly fine to do so, a life-long learning of one’s art must, I think, involve honing one’s technical ability or simply put skill. Else, I think the artwork itself lacks a truly inspirational element.

Aarohi’s similar questions as mine involved very real life assertions of who she is and of her stance in the midst of everything that surrounds her, in great parts, her life as an artist. And also how she sees the two halves of her life weaved together by complex threads.

Sumeet, had a very distinct perspective, being a lover of art and literature (and a technology professional by day) that a lot of art being “produced” today lines itself up to a lifestyle that is being sold and hence, the art itself isn’t a whole but an unmysterious puzzle piece in all of it.

The idea of us being digitally walled off to the point where our human interaction on a daily basis is restricted to texts, emails, at best telephonic enquiries or work/daily-life related details troubles me, being that we are humans and are designed to be stimulated by human interaction.

To this end and to be challenged and to challenge human interactive and intellectual status quo and to truly converse about things that occupy our mindspace in terms of our creative endeavours in life, was the reason behind Conversation Saturdays.

I personally look forward to CS2 which promises to be a proper humdinger with a mysterious out-of-town artist friend, a blues musician and a couple of really interestingly sharp and inquisitive minds.

Shibu Arakkal
February Twenty Seventeen
Shibu ArakkalConversation Saturdays