Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 2 in glorious Sanskriti (artist residency)

    Ah, it's the very scent to India. I think it may be even a narcotic that brings me back. The air is gentle. Here at Sanscriti with it's beautiful grounds, huge trees with leaves gently swaying in the cool wind (it's lovely weather in the day, chilling up at night) I'm already lulled into happiness and contentment.
    I slept with many covers last night. My little pillow cushioned me to sleep. I first woke at 6AM thinking about breakfast as my body is unused to the vegetarian regimen, but then I fell back to another comfortable slumber until 11:30AM! What a wonderful way to become acclimated after barely sleeping on the 8 hr plus flight from London. Someone though told me that I still look exhausted. Oh well.
    Later this afternoon, I strolled through the pottery museum on my own, where each room highlights a specific area of India's traditional wares. I'll re-visit many times next month on my return. I've already seem works to inspire my work. Then Niriti brought me through the truly magnificent fabric museum. It's filled with the finest examples from throughout the country. Some are very old with truly amazing composition and detail. Astonishing saris are surely priceless examples. There's a section of Kanta embroidered works. I remember the Kanta embroidery exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum last year, and the beautiful red shawl I bought in Dhaka in 1995. The examples here are of the finest.
    Truly Sanskriti is a treasure house and I'm already so glad that I'll be returning after Dhaka. Large ceramic pieces dot the grounds, and everywhere there is another visual delight, a gate, wooden doors, the bridge to my room over a now dry waterway, and on. Everyone is of course friendly with the residents representing many disciplines. Last evening I spoke with Chris, originally from Boston and of Irish descent, he converted to Sikhism in the 1980's. He's a poet. I came upon a series of his poems in one of the museum rooms, likely a place for meditation. I read just one. It was so beautifully expressive and rich with references that drew on the chaotic world of now, yet his lure was to the mountains and by continuing to refer to that, the poem held the promise of peace and eternal wisdom. I wished to savor it longer and decided to read the others as another delight on my return in February-March.  
    Barbara Rothenberg corrected my yesterday post mistakes: "We went together to the Shekavati region (the other is a Japanese flute)  and I was studying Ragamala painting (as in ragas)." I can only say that my deep fatigue had rattled my brain and I'm grateful for her reply. She has one artwork in the entry way and another in the dining room. Barbara asked, "Tell me more about Kolkata (where is it?) and Dhaka.  What will you be doing ???????" So maybe there willl be more curiosity among my blog readers. I'll tell about Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in West Bengal, and of course my work in Dhaka as events unfold - where I'll be making welded masks, printmaking, and giving a mask/story workshop, Embassy receptions, showing my film, and the like.
    Meanwhile, it's just an hour before dinner and I'll finally get to those Five Tibetan Rites (exercises) and my yoga regimen. Thankfully, there's a yoga mat here for me. Hooray!
                        Love to all,

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