Armed with works on canvas, paper and cloth, Wits Fine Arts Masters student, Sheekha Kalan exhibited her art work as part of her Masters project this week at the Wits Fine art project space, The Point of Order.
THE EXPLORATION OF COLOUR: Sheekha Kalan’s mother Swamini Vishwamohini gazing at her daughters work. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa.
An exploration of expressions of personal understanding through ineffable use of paint, cotton, colour, powder, pencil and space. The artworks left the visitors indulged with creative curiosity and challenged them with the intellectualism of modern art.
Describing her exhibition as “connecting the creativity that is within a person”, the MA student hopes one day she will change people’s perspectives through her art.
The nature of exploration has been central to her work: the threshold- the self as the subject of individual consciousness, the soul, and the supreme personal principle of life in the universe….the Atman.
Her Masters Research topic is on: Encounters with the Ineffable in Selected Artworks by Anish Kapoor and Karel Nel.
ATMAN: Kalan’s work explores the self as the subject of individual consciousness, the soul, and the supreme personal principle of life in the universe. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa.
“The ineffable describes that which is too great or profound to be expressed in words and is often linked to the spiritual; the fluid and unfixed, the transcendence and the notion of revelatory,” she said.
In previous installations, Kalan has used a fusion of wood, cotton and wool, an intrinsic to her artistic exploration, which she explains as “creating environments that would draw the viewer into a contemplative and emotive space.”
“I am interested in drawing connections between spatial experiences and inward reflection or contemplating experience.”
The presentation brings together canvas, powder pigments, cotton and thread, transparent plastic and pencil on paper, and uses these elements to articulate a foreground of a spatially experiential dimension.
The exhibition presented a range of colours, light, scale and materiality which are important elements in Kalan’s work. When asked about these elements, Kalan said: “Through my articulation of these elements in the gallery space, my intention is to present works that will open up a contemplative space for viewers that may generate an ineffable experience.”
For a participant at the exhibition, this experience aims to showcase a process of drawing out from the invisible into the visible which awakens a stronger perception of the life force termed Atman by the artist.
“The self as the subject of individual consciousness, the soul, the supreme personal principle of life in the universe.”
Using inspiration from her muses, Kapoor and Nel, Kalan said: “I examined how both artists use their chosen materials, forms, and means of display in their artworks to perceptually engage the viewer in ways that can be seen to connect to ideas of [the] metaphysical.”
ENCOUNTERS WITH THE INEFFABLE: the exhibition presented canvas, powder pigments, cotton and thread, transparent plastic and pencil on paper, articulating them to foreground a spatially experiential dimension. Photo: Litaletu Zidepa
On the subject of art in South Africa and upcoming artists like herself, Kalan said: “I feel like the art field is becoming more open and accepting of different people and different ideas, which I find very inspiring. Everybody is supporting each other to be more creative.”
The Atman exhibition by Sheekha Kalan is still showing at the fine art project space, ‘The Point of Order’ at corner Bertha and Stiemens street, Braamfontein.
Wits Vuvuzela journalist Pheladi Sethusa attended the Holi One festival in Johannesburg this weekend. She recounts the experience below.
RAINBOW OF COLOURS: What it looked like when we threw the colours at the end of a countdown. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
‘Never in my life did I think I would have this much fun at an event that emanated from a religious practice.
I had wanted to attend from the minute I heard that Holi One (which later changed to We Are One) was coming to Johannesburg this year.
I had seen the Hindu colour festival on TV before and knew I had to do it at least once in my life.
I dragged my feet on getting tickets, which did not serve me well when they were sold out a few weeks before the event.
Luckily for me I know someone who knows someone and managed to get a ticket the day before.
Within in the first five minutes of walking into the venue some over eager festival go-er decided to throw some colour on me robbing me of the before picture I wanted to take.
15 000 people had bought tickets and those same 15 000 were on the grounds of Emmarentia Dam.
I imagined it would be chaotic but it really wasn’t. There were enough bars, food stalls and toilets to cater to everyone’s needs.
There was also ample space for people to move around. I never felt uncomfortable in the crowds.
AFTERMATH: Moments after the countdown colour throw – torturous to the lungs. Photo: Pheadi Sethusa
The highlight of the day for me, were the colour throws that happened every hour. Being in the crowd when they happened was the reason we were all there in the first place.
When you threw your colour up into the air it felt like a New Year’s countdown. Then it felt like you were in the midst of a dessert battlefield as all the colours came down and their residue hung in the air.
The music was great throughout the day. Various DJ’s made our bodies move to their sounds. Goodluck were the headline act and ushered us into the night beautifully.
They also announced that due to the support this festival had received, the band would be travelling to Germany for a Holi One festival later this year.
The festivities started at 11am and were due to end at 8pm. By the time 7pm came around, my feet and legs were done in for.
Towards the same time, none of us looked colourful anymore, just dirty.
It took me a full 40 minute shower to scrub myself clean and an additional 20 minutes to clean all the contents of my handbag. By which time I was exhausted from the day’s events.
WE WERE ONE: From left to right, Megan Hamilton-Hall, Paige Fenenga, Pheladi Sethusa and Kayleigh Pierce. Photo: Tracey Hamilton-Hall
I only began to understand the “we are one” title by the end of the day, when we all looked the same.
Even though we were all covered in a rainbow of colours, we all looked the same and indeed were the same.’