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The Circle

This project involves drawing on unstretched canvas, sculpture, and performance. I drew on a 240 in X 12 in unstretched canvas. The drawings are mostly monochrome. I illustrated a series of incidents in a graphic novel style. I made a sculpture made of fabric and shoes that appears as a human being lying on the floor. I wrapped the sculpture with the canvas and covered it with a white sheet. Later during the performance, I walked around the sculpture in a circle and poured water on it. That made the drawings underneath more visible. The drawing portrays two of my life events that are strangely related.

My father had his first heart attack when I was only 5 years old. My mother often had to take me to the hospital to visit my father since my father and I had missed each other badly. The hospital was a happy place for me since I could be with my father. I would roam around the hospital building and one time I got lost and discovered a corridor full of patients lying on the floor. In government hospitals of India, it is common to find patients, lying on the floor, mostly since many people cannot afford proper hospital beds. I saw one person with his mouth open and his eyes were bulging. I went to the hospital directly from my school so I had my water bottle with me. I assumed the person was thirsty and I started pouring water into his mouth. I was confused to see the water coming out. By that time my mother found me. she was freaking out and pulled me back from that person. I remembered the incident because of my mother's reaction. Later I got to know that the person was already dead.

19 years later, after a long battle against cardiovascular disease, my father passed away. I was in Cambridge, Uk that time. I was flying to my country to see my father for the last time. He was kept in a mortuary. The flight was halfway down the distance when a passenger sitting in the next aisle suddenly got up and fell on the floor. Initially, I thought he had fainted so I started sprinkling water on his face. He gasped and I thought he needed water. I started pouring water into his mouth and again the water came out. That moment took me back to the incident that had happened years ago. The flight had to make an emergency landing and the doctors declared the person dead. This piece act as a funeral ceremony for those grievous memories through a cathartic ritual.

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