'GANESHA' Photo Collage

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This delicious artwork is deliberately the first thing one sees as you enter my London studio. The remover of all obstacles, Lord Ganesha is always placed in the entrance of the dwelling; be this a home, office or even your car or taxi. He is the archetypical divine 'bouncer' or security guard protecting your energy....offering an invisible shield from toxic or contaminating thoughts or intentions. Its no wonder that as part of the spiritual protocol, before performing any other puja or prayer to any of the other major Gods eg Shiva, Krishna, Durga etc, one humbly bows down to Ganesha first. I find this pot bellied, playful God very endearing; he is a like a friend....indeed, I often find myself chatting to him when life gets a bit weird! This artwork was lovingly made with non stop Ganesha mantras playing in the background. To be seen as an existential, divine choir, it has a lot going on; Ganesh's parents Shiva and Parvati are there; so is architecture in the form of temples. Other Gods like Rama, painted and embroidered elephants, road signage, OM symbols, patterns, flowers etc all weave in and out of the composition so that there is no foreground or background. Each image is from a photo I took in situ from various travels within India. I deliberately used colours to evoke the sugared milky mithai (indian sweetmeat) flavours that are conjured up every time I see a vividly painted temple. I call them architectural desserts!

In my opinion, Western civilization has disproportionately promoted intellectualism at the cost of soul or emotional intelligence. The visceral, hand made and human has often been rejected for cynical, ugly, monochromatic wordsy one liners. Colour and pattern has been whittled away into mere decorations. In old civilizations hailing from the East, the use of colour and symbolism is supremely important. Think of the Buddhist Tibetan temples you may have visited or seen photos of. These expressions are never minimal. Indeed, it is the very majesty of the intricacy of complex colours and tones that awe-inspire the worshipper. The stories and detail are humbling, inviting the viewer into them, making Godliness a part of your space; not some far removed concept locked into the abstract and unreachable. Indian Gods are immediately available through a personal and private visit to the temple, be this in your kitchen or on the street. Hindus do not worship their Gods on sundays only. Our conversations with our Gods are on the simmer all the time. We even name our children after them!