To remove oneself from the company of others – is to ‘Isolate’. It also means ‘to separate from another substance so as to obtain pure or in a free state’.
Scared or sacred?
Being alone is often seen/projected as a scary proposition, in all likelihood, by people who have not had an opportunity to enjoy their own company or who are unable to do so. In fact, spending time alone and ‘with ourself’ has several advantages. Not only does it provide an opportunity to perceive our true self, free from prejudice and societal conditioning, it also gives us an occasion to go within, discover and connect with our higher self. It is a space that enables us to process our experiences and derive meaning from them. The sacred state of ‘solitude’.
Solitude and the arts
Several creatives/artists often find themselves craving for this safe space of solitude, and isolate themselves voluntarily in their studio so that they can access the state of flow, lose their sense of self and maximize their creativity – thereby allowing form to their expression. The primary reason being that, when in isolation, one is removed from external disturbances and is able to streamline thought, thereby collating experience.
Alone = all + one
Etymologically, the word ‘alone’ is derived from all + one. Whilst originally, this was understood to mean ‘all on one’s own’, perhaps there is a different way of looking at our own company. We are always with ourself, even when we are with others, just like the silence that is necessary to highlight any piece of music. Isolation/ the sacred space of solitude enables us to reach a state of silence when we are able to cultivate our life energies in harmony with the Universe, being guided by an inner force.
In such a state, we flow with the Universe – there is no other. All is one.
The works of Shobha Broota come to mind when I think about going ‘Within Isolation’ and accessing the sacred state of solitiude, as discussed above. I have shared some of Shobha ji’s works below (oil and acrylic on canvas) which I feel have the ability to transport the viewer into a different realm, perhaps enabling us to access the contemplative/meditative state of the artist while making these works.
A statement from the artist’s website best encapsulates her approach and has been reproduced below:
“Much is achieved when I live in silence. My work is a journey in search of my own self. It is the experience of space, color, expanse and movement, through which I travel into this mystical world. My work is geared towards a silent inner communication.”
~ Shobha Broota
To know more about Shobha ji’s work, you can watch this recent interview conducted by Gallery Espace with the artist, showcasing her journey in art and discussing her process. It can be viewed here:
That’s all for now, from me. Hope you’ve enjoyed this journey ‘Within Isolation’!
About the Author:
Khushi is a full-time professional photographer, actively engaged in commercial assignments involving portraiture, lifestyle photography, as well as showcasing boutique heritage homestays.
Through her personal projects, Khushi explores the ever-changing nature of the self, how time influences matter and microscopic studies of the ‘body as art’. She has a keen interest in understanding the nature of existence and this remains a driving force in shaping her work.
Khushi’s professional journey involved a transition from corporate law to the practice of photography. She has displayed her works in two solo exhibitions titled “28” (2011) and “Frames of Mind” (2015) at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. She is also the editor of a Fine Art Coffee Table Book on Madhya Pradesh titled ‘Zero and Beyond’. Khushi lives and works out of her studio space in Delhi.
My work is an exploration of form and matter, an exercise in perception and visual contemplation, with the intention of capturing the essence of my subject. Through the medium of still life objects, I explore perfection of form in nature in an attempt to understand the uniqueness of ‘being’.
My approach is slow and meditative, allowing time to the subject to reveal its form and energy. Often, in the process, I end up discovering something about myself. In this sense, my work is also self-exploratory and studies the connection between the photographer and the subject.
Simply put, through these photographs, I access my library of experiences to discern my truth.