The Red Line
The red line
Series of ink on rice paper drawings and collages – 2012
“Our art is an art that is dazzled by truth: the light shed on
the rabidly fleeing grimace is true of nothing else.”
one day there was a red line
it came from nowhere
it ran through everything I could
see or feel or sense
it was relentless
…and then it crawled into my body
and I became the red line….
“There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe, but not for us”.
The series of paintings, The Red Line (2012) unfolded in the aftermath of a near-death experience of contracting a virus, West Nile Fever, a dangerous strand of encephalitis and meningitis. Illness paradoxically has set me free to write poems and to create images to hold the unconscious bits – this happened with such a sense of urgency that I surprised myself – it was an outpouring, like a bird bursting into song, an incomprehensible song at the time. Reflecting on the birth of this series, I realise now that it was an exploration of the ultimate human question on human mortality and the presence of life force, chi, surging through our beings and bodies. The question mutated into the metaphor of the redline, flirting with the idea that this life force surging through our breathing, our bodies, and our instinctual and psychological beings is infinite and immortal – that it is probable that the red line runs through all manifestations of life on earth and beyond.
This series of artworks manifested as a settling of accounts with life, children marriage, other relationships, death, and man’s condition in aphoristic artworks – a terse, almost laconic expression of the presence of life-force surging through the veins of humanity and a cosmos beyond.
“Theoretically, there is one consummate possibility of felicity: to believe in the destruction in oneself, and not to go looking for it”. Franz Kafka
“For immortality does not consist in the preservation of our ego or our limited personality, but in the awareness of that great flow of reality in which our present life is only a fleeting moment. In this knowledge lies the liberation from death leading to the experience and realization of immortality”. Lama Anagarika Govinda