Focusing Inward

I’m passionate about making photographs and art in
general and so are a million others who are passionate about art. Some
appreciate art, some criticize art, some idolize art, some loath art and some
make art and some stopped making art.

Looking at my photographs, when people encouragingly tell
me ‘keep your fire burning’; I respond with a smile and a thank you but keep
wondering inside, ‘what’s my fire?’

Digging deeper, sure, the fire keeps us going. But the
fire on its own cannot stay lit for a long time. It has a start and an end. But
to keep it burning, we need to ‘fuel’ it. So I think it is the ‘fuel’ that
burns the fire that burns us. That means, when the fuel is out, the fire is
out. So it is the composition of that fuel, which gives a distinct color, odor,
shape and strength to that fire. And that makes our fire unique from other
fires. Yes, I know… all the talk about fire and fuel is hypothetical,
metaphorical and philosophical but so are most questions that artists deal with
internally and externally.

The core ‘nature’ of nature is ‘to transform’ and we
transform too, whether we like it or not. I don’t make the type of photographs
I used to make five years ago as I gained experience the choice of my subject
matter changed. Our fire transforms as we move along life because the
composition of our fuel transforms. What is my ‘fuel’ then? I think it is made
of deep suffering, an innate craving to carry forward the legacy of my favorite
masters of photography, an involuntary need to inspire and a profound necessity
to create a nameless intellectual space for myself and others.

I too sometimes can’t make art. So, why does the flow
stop? So, the fire’s gone…that’s why! No, the fire didn’t go anywhere, it’s
the fuel that is not getting produced more or it is in the process of
transformation. No wonder, after we go through a creative block, we come back
with grater results at least in most cases and if we didn’t, probably we didn’t
spend much time in the ‘block’ itself. It should not be the point to get out of
the creative block; it is a great opportunity to get stuck so that we carefully
examine the thoughts of that little voice in our mind and give time, space for
the fuel to transform.

So, what’s your fuel made of?