Spirit & Matter

17-March-2018 - 17-April-2018

Spirit & Matter



‘All means are sacred which are called for by the inner need. All means are sinful which obscure that inner need.’ - Wassily Kandinsky


There are multiple dimensions of interrogating life and its significance that is considered relevant in artistic expression. This search for the meaning of life is spirituality.


Viktor Frankl developed a school of therapy around this subtle need for expression, after he returned from a concentration camp and found that those who did not have this motivational force to express themselves by being creative, were unable to rid their mind of past events, that were painful.


Thus spirituality imbibes in life a sense of perspective, direction and creates a relationship with mystery, this quest for the meaning of life this questioning of ‘what is my role in this life’ leads us to something beyond the limits of our perception. This limits the scope of generalizing spirituality, the idea of it is experienced by seekers, artists and writers and writers through their experience.


Creativity is the act of bringing a new form of expression in to existence, it moves everyone beyond themselves in a similar way spirituality moves us. The discourse of Spirituality poses a problem of bringing up the context of religion as a part and parcel to it. It is true that spirituality is found in all religious practices but religion is not the embodiment of spirituality, neither is spirituality completely controlled by culture,

region or continent. Spirituality is an experience while processing life’s absurdities, losses and gains. Perhaps there are ways of channelizing a spiritual way of looking at things, understanding events that may be diametrically opposite in form and content and yet experienced by a single person.


A person who is under the spell of such a multitude of experience is unable to finely grasp his own emotions. Balancing one’s self through the visual and lyrical processes is a path taken by the visual thinker.



The act of making art is not about unleashing ones emotions on a surface with a burst of bright colours and frenzied strokes, although apparently it may seem so. The coming together of opposing elements in a fine juxtaposition of non verbal and unidentifiable forms are often worked up and internalized as a technique to

express specifically or translate the reality of things into its inner essence.


As for example the change of season could impact one with either an atmosphere of celebration or melancholy. A heor’s death is grieved and yet lauded as sacrifice. In interrogating a natural phenomena with a spiritual process, the artists are equipped to address the core of its significance by visualizing it’s multitude in

layers of symbolism.


It is in this arrangement of plethora that which creates an ambiguity; things, events, people, transcend through expressive strokes, symbolic colours, layers of pigments. Often than not the process of making becomes the discerning factor such as camouflaging a form, excavating a layer, tactile deposits and markings

through impressions of body, fingerprints, repeated drenching, burning, dyeing and stitching holds key to its inherent spiritual wisdom.


Finally spirituality in art lends a greater transformative impact to the basic intention of creating an aesthetic object of art. It is a constant negotiation of content and intent, eventuality and truth and interpretation of phenomena and associations. The spiritual quotient in art making, breaks stringent boundaries to address the intellectual, universal, interpersonal and existential, in order to broaden the vision; in searching for the meaning of life.


“The most poignant insight is to know the expectations of art; that there can never

be a must, set it free.”



- Koeli Mukherjee Ghose

   Art Historian & Curator

   (Quotes by Wassily Kandinsky)