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‘EYES ON TSUM’; Mixed media collage artwork by Ketna Patel

As we hustle and bustle through our daily lives, there are pockets of this world which remain forgotten; cut off from our mainstream radars.

I salute the ‘Women on a mission’ team for bringing the plight of the Tsum Valley to our awareness. There is much to understand…..

For the inhabitants of TSUM valley, life is harsh. Their living Buddhist culture and strong will gives them the necessary spiritual tools to face hardship and poverty, and for this reason their unique culture has remained intact. However, in the context of our rather crazy globalized world, their vulnerability is accentuated, especially with a road from China already on the horizon.

How then to attempt painting a visual story of a culture so rich and deep yet fragile and under threat by the Modern World’s rather contradictory definition of ‘Progress’?

Ketna speaks…..”I decided to use the powerful symbol of the ‘all seeing eyes’ of the ancient, primordial Buddha. Eyes represent the threshold between our inner and outer worlds. We look OUT all the time, and yet there is an inner eye which is the lord of the subconscious world; the universe of intuition, feeling and wisdom. They are the eyes of the heart”

The symbolism sprinkled all over the painting is a compressed head on collision of our outer and inner worlds. Looking at the artwork closely, you will see depictions of commercialization, spirituality, innocence…..an in between space where the eyes of Heaven rain tear drops which are soaked up by the Earth.

It is only through awareness of who we are and what part we are to play in this fleeting world can we can soak up these invisible tears and be moved to an act of giving back…