Celestial Transitions

In the sunlight, there is noise: an unharmonic noise of a turbulence above me, as I am deep into layers, buried beneath pressures that seems to defend me. They defend me as walls, which I am not sure if are choking me further or helping me break the ruthlessness of the storm.

In the dark, there is silence. There is silence of Nothing, a nothing reaching out to me in hope to be seen & felt as something.

In white light dimming drowsily beneath sheets of smoky silk, I am following footprints from a life before.

The light steals me from a self-knowing best achieved in a tranquility of perceived ignorance. In the pain on this ignorance, I may have known myself better. But we have to wait now, for another day to pass; we have to wait a half-life or so, more.

(My Fictional) Story behind Marc Quinn’s Bloody ‘Self’

Marc Quinn was sitting one day at his friend’s one-room apartment in Luton; he was unhappy and dissatisfied. Every day while walking around the block to do groceries or to buy whatever liquor he could afford in an effort to quieten his inner demons, he’d pass strange-looking gangster types, many of whom he knew for sure, were out selling drugs. Luton, for those who don’t know of it, is a small town outside of London, not very developed or crowded, known for thugs and also for drug-dealing to some extent. Marc had been kicked out of his East London studio apartment by his wife, who had been supporting his financial needs, including his art materials, for the past few months; the cash being a secondary issue for the loving wife, Marc had actually been lying to her and wasting a lot of her hard-earned money on alcohol, resultantly being unhappy himself with hardly any output in terms of his work. She had given him a few warnings, but realized she’d reached her threshold when he smacked her a couple of times and once even tried hitting their baby to emotionally blackmail her. Hence Quinn had been pretty messed up for over 8 months now!

Now his friend here in Luton, had graciously agreed to let Marc stay with him. This guy, Moby, was working at a local mall, but also an artist type who had given up on the idea of doing art professionally, after having lived hand to mouth for at least three years, switching places from one studio to the next and also between streets, with hardly any sold work which was already scattered amongst friends and a very few family members; and those people did not seem much interested to take good care of his work, considering his rising apathy towards it as well! So finally, after having lived the lives of a junkie hobo and a struggling artist, Moby had given up on ‘all that’ about a year ago, though he was still living on meager means but at least ‘respectably’, getting commissioned occasionally by fellow sculptors who knew his great skill and could afford to pay him.

Marc had been cutting his wrists under the influence of sleeping pills lately, something which he had quit doing more than a decade ago before this fateful turn in his life, yet again. Moby had been disgusted to find blood stains, once on his rug and another time, on the washroom floor on getting home, while his friend would be either dozing off or trying in vain, to create something with the little material he had managed to bring with him from back home. He even found himself, to his surprise later, saying to Marc angrily a few times, “When you’re already so low on resources and so eager to bleed, then you might as well make some art with your bloody blood before you kill yourself!!”


Today, Marc was waiting in this tiny slum-of-an-apartment for Moby to return. He was looking at the dark dampness outside the window, going through a hangover and thinking about what to do with his life; whether to do anything at all or making a suicide attempt altogether. He had tried calling his wife a few times over the last week, but she hadn’t bothered to return any of his calls or messages on her answering machine. He was missing his baby most of all, and cursing himself for trying to hit the benign little thing, out of sheer madness and ugly frustration. Right at this moment, his glance fell upon his wrist, which he had cut just yesterday, and then Moby’s words came streaming into his head. He’d been trying to create a sculpture head for over two weeks now, but he didn’t have the money to buy more clay, plus his hands would tremble so much these days that he couldn’t even put them to proper use lately! And THEN, an idea struck him: Why not make use of what IS readily available (relatively) and experiment with Moby’s outrageous idea! He dared not share it with anyone, but he was sure going to try it at least once now!

That’s where this work began. Marc got all his materials together: blades, a knife, chisel, plaster, mirror, and of course, a tourniquet. The next step was to identify all those areas of his body where he expected to find the blood flow at its best, so as to draw out maximum of it. From then onwards, Marc would wait till Moby would be away, in fear lest his old care-taker friend send him to a mental asylum, acting out of his deep concern. Marc had a purpose in life now, and he had to complete the work as soon as possible, so he could move back to London and spare Moby of the added burden of supporting him. The former did not really know why, but he was affirmative that once this artwork came out as what he had in mind, it could be an immediate success, given that he reached out to the right galleries; and yes, with his experience in the field, he already had at least 3 gallery curators he could speak with in this regard. 

Across a span of 12 days, Marc had been putting his sweat and blood (literally!) into this 3D self-portrait, and by the end of this timeframe, ha had drawn eight pints of his blood and started preserving and freezing it from the start. What he drew altogether, was of course more than 8 pints, as it took him a couple of days to figure out how to keep the red blood cells mixed with the serum for proper effect. Once he had all the ‘home-made’ material ready, he began to sculpt, and this was precisely the point when Moby found out about his friend’s latest venture. But when he also saw that Marc’s alcohol and pill intake had drastically reduced now, and that the latter looked more fulfilled and productive than before, he decided to actually help him out on the project!

In a total of 3 weeks from the first incidence of idea generation, the cast for Marc’s head was made, and now the work is near completion. Moby has taken a few pictures of Marc during the sculpting process and showed them to some trusted artist friends in and around Luton, and from the feedback, both the friends know that the work would stir a lot of controversy. But at this point in time, that would be a very welcomed response; after all, a lot of artworks in the past were initially faced with controversy, which later transformed into ground-breaking success!





Marc Quinn, Self (detail)

From Fear..to Love

Life does  get fairly hard on the person when the artist, the art and the muse are the same, vis a vis  the person’s entity itself, though each of these manifested in its own time. Or the co-existence of the guinea pig, the experiment and the scientist, all in one. Or maybe even the mother, her womb and the embryo embedded in various patterns, within the same sense of Self. Thus the threads and stitches may be different, but the fabric weaves itself into a uniformity of Oneness.

I was looking for Love for years, when I realized that it is actually the outward-in journey that could connect me, with that core that also lays contained in layers of me; and that the process could only be inward-out in its motion. 

It feels constricting, when one takes into account a consideration of one’s life-span as an extension, spread over the years of your life, of your conception period spent in your mother’s womb.  Perhaps you should snap out of your self-casted spell and stop limiting your entire existence to dependence on an incident that happened in the farthest past; and (another) good thing about the past is that you keep moving, further away from the more painful points of it, with time.

What is the driving force behind a selfless act of giving and that too, giving of oneself? It is none other than love.

I do not expect of you to return the sentiment when I share my inherent Love being, with you. You are human: you might forget, you might consume it after converting it into destructive Fear energy. But yes, I DO expect from Karma to retrieve to me, the fruits of my sacred worship! And I know Karma won’t disappoint me. And when Love becomes the fuel of the journey, derived from an ethereal flow from the infinite God reservoir into a oneness with the human core, fear reduces to a mere negligent hurdle in the quest of/for Life.

If you assume the glass handed to you by a stranger to quench your thirst, to be filled with poison, and instead choose to dehydrate your Self of thirst, it gets unbelievably tough to survive, let alone live. If otherwise, you listen to your heart, which tells you the glass is filled with a potion of Love and that your assumption merely arises from scars of the futile past, that would be much wiser. The stranger here is Life, which undeniably is strangely attractive in its nature; the quest being for the truth, which always lies in Love, and your (beloved?) ‘Fear’ being the hindering force to you, to reach out for Love.

On the other hand, if you drink the potion, then your drunkenness knows no bounds of possibility! The intoxication is such that it makes you believe, and believe so much as to deem the Self worthy and capable of all roles, be it the painter, the canvas, or the painted. This belief holds an immense capacity to pull you out of your hiding, the very hiding that keeps you from your revelation of Self. This belief in its own is an outright nullification of your Fear.