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Let art colour your resolutions for this year

New Year resolutions are like those ghee dripping, sugar coated Diwali sweets you unfailingly send across every year, to your diabetic grand aunt.

Published: 13th January 2022 06:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2022 06:44 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: New Year resolutions are like those ghee dripping, sugar coated Diwali sweets you unfailingly send across every year, to your diabetic grand aunt. You know she can never eat them, but you simply must follow tradition. The last two years that the pandemic snatched away from us, however, have made this resolution-setting start to the new year seem like the sand castles we used to build on lazy afternoons by the beach. The first and the second wave of the deadly virus, washed away all our castles along with our pre-planned dreams.

Much like the rest of the world, all yearly calendars have gone haywire in the world of art too. Guarantee is a term that is slowly being thrust into extinction. An art show opening, happening on the fixed date is nothing short of a gamble. And what about artists? Do we, the rebels, the breakers of definitions and the interrogators of rules, also follow the universal standards of starting the year with promises to oneself? Though not your typical ‘Go the the gym/ lose 10 kgs’ or ‘Vacation in Hawaii for Christmas’ version of resolutions, artists do make plans that qualify as legitimate new year goals. 

Most art shows are confirmed months in advance, with 3-4 months notice being the norm and the desire to complete the work for the show on time, easily takes the shape of a resolve. This too has taken a blow with the pandemic playing havoc with any attempt at taming time to mould our days. The India Art Fair, for instance, scheduled to happen in Delhi next month, had to be postponed to the end of April, due to the dark clouds of the third wave that now looms large over us. Travel plans have thus backfired, while international travel restrictions have made us tread cautiously when art residency programs and invitations for art camps (that usually provided fertile ground for new experiences and lasting friendships), from distant lands come our way.

Just when we thought it was all done and almost dusted, here we are, back to square one again. This time around, the virus, though not as deadly, is spreading faster than wildfire. All the buried aspirations that were dug up, polished until it gleamed and placed back on our ‘To do New Year list’ when the clock announced 2022, had to be once again swept under the carpet with the current wave slowly altering our lives once more.

The human race can learn but one lesson from this nightmare. Nothing in life is a surety. Unpredictable circumstances can topple even the mightiest, most well laid-out plan. The only firm resolve we can ever make, given the situation, is to learn to find beauty and meaning in the ordinary and the mundane. The grander things can wait. It can be said with a fair degree of certainty that art can be a tool to realise this simple resolution. May art be your New Year guide to peace!



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