MONOLOGUE OF MEMORY-MONISHA MOHANRAJ
My art work feeds on the deep concept of memories which opens up new possibilities to explore. I always believed that mind or manas is not something that belonged to the brain but it dwells deep within every cell of the body. The English word ‘Mind’ doesn’t say anything because it is just one generic word, which does not describe different dimensions of what the mind is. In yogic culture, there is no such thing as mind, just physical body and mental body. What we are calling mind right now is a certain combination of memory and intelligence. There is more memory in our body than in mind. Today if I carry the looks of my grandmother and talent of my great grandfather then it is through this memory.
We don’t remember a thing consciously but our body remembers one hundred percent. Our mind is not capable of this kind of memory. Our thought process however is only the data that we already gathered. That means, we can never think anything new, you can rehash it, you can produce permutations or combinations of it but we cannot produce something absolutely new. It is not in the very nature of the thought to come up with something new. It can only recycle the past. The works are based on a carefully selected thread of memories which lingers within, something that everyone could associate with their life. The forms that appear in my work transcends directly from those memories. It is the only proof from past to prove that one has lived a life so far and it acts as a guideline to the future. When mind is erased, then there no link to the realm of one’s past or his roots. Similarly anything that exists on this planet has a memory too.
As endless as this ideas go, my interest are only with object that holds memory from the past. Let it be the memory of first day at school, first crush, first failure or first success, it is all shelved deep within us, molding us. Yet, it remains dormant until something triggers it. Something that helps us recall our past; a simple toy in a toy shop which one must have used when he was a kid or grandmother’s hand knitted bag that came into your possession, constantly remind of her. This mind as a pendulum which osculates from past to present fascinates me; especially that particular object that connects the past and present moment. This object became the subject matter. Further the transparency of the medium allows visual play in light. It also allows the image to levitate. The image, when it appears in the canvas seems to be raptured or broken; symbolically indicate that memory tend to fade over time, constantly replacing with another. I also believe that everything on this planet is connected with one another. So, I associate myself with other animals for its distinctive character. The lines and strokes in my paintings are patterns driven from nature.