Conversations with the universe. 1/∞
Lalaari is a Punjabi word and literally means: Dyer; one who takes a basic white fabric and spins his art of colour on it. Much akin to this, metaphorically, we too are handed a blank fabric, the colours we choose to add to it eventually define our very existence and indeed, our journey. But who or what is the Lalaari in our lives… God? Another person? We ourselves? The answer, though simple, has to be sought and lies within us, but only if we care to look deep enough. When we talk to ourselves (and we all do), we talk to the universe, one that magically exists both within us and around us… in these honest conversations lies hidden a beautiful truth, a peace, a tranquility that transforms life itself.
Concept: I have a curious interest in people and spaces; perhaps that also explains why my photographic interests revolve largely around portraiture and architecture, and my commercial interests, around fashion and Interiors. I believe that people live their life behind a veil (sometime several), often thinking of it as a reality and always, at the expense of an unseen truth that lies within. Yet, I am sensitive to the fact that people also possess distinct energies and auras, which are rarely seen, yet can often be sensed. How we see people, therefore, is not essentially who they are. My show is based on a simplistic approach to portraiture and revolves around select individuals captured in my style of photography, dressed in royal resplendence (for all of us hold, or should hold, a somewhat haughty image of ourselves and perhaps, also due to my well known penchant for royalty) as it meanders through 3 interpretations:
As I see them
As the world (probably) sees them
As who they really are
Technique: The base for my approach is and will always be photography. However, in LALAARI, I use my experience of 30 years in textile, craft, embroideries and furniture design to create a subtle mixed media dimension to the works. The works are a result of the coming together of the embroiderer and the designer with the mediator and the artist in a unified language that is unique and distinctive. The frame itself, often used purely to bind an image, in this case, plays an important role as an intrinsic part of the work itself and is instrumental in the narrative.
Historical references: I have been intrigued by the Decorative arts from the past such as Christian iconography and the Tanjores of India. Though my works bear no similarity to such arts, they reflect a gentle contemporary affinity to these age-old treasures. This exhibition in the first in a series to follow, wherein, I personally am looking forward to an intriguing evolution in the artist in me.
JJ Valaya, Untitled, 201915 x 10 inches
JJ Valaya, Untitled, 201950 x 44 inches
JJ Valaya, Untitled, 2019Variable Size
JJ Valaya, Untitled, 201956 x 55 inches
JJ Valaya, Untitled, 201957 x 48 inches
JJ Valaya, Untitled, 201966 x 55 inches
JJ Valaya, Untitled, 201973 x 61 inches
JJ Valaya, Untitled, 201996 x 72 inches