• Shwetha Kumar @Skapepoetry

Who 'Art' Thou?

An eternal definition of art has remained- ‘an extension of human skill and imagination to express or portray emotion or idea’. A medium of continuum to communicate or relate to, for an audience. Art as an extension of functionality- elevates the former. Any function infused with art adds to esthetics and pleasure.

A harmonious symphony, a rhythmic Cha-Cha-Cha, an intriguing- hard to put down write up, the perceived depth of a painting by cross- hatching, the Nritya of Bharatanatyam, or the embellishment of Gamakas in a Raaga. Art forms have elevated our mundane lives to ecstatically enjoyable levels. And I’d always been into one art form or another since an early age. However, the simplicity of childhood was subdued as a prominence to academic excellence took over. And art as is, was displaced to a subtle background.

Fast forward to adulthood. The south-west monsoons hold a certain significance in Southern India. As they bring rain laden clouds, they change the very geography of the peninsula- to lush green landscapes. And a little over a year ago, on one serendipitous monsoon afternoon, words seemed to flow out through me as the first rain of the season quenched the soil:

The smell of rain in the midst of a summer ball

thunder sends out its gurgling call

All life comes alive

For they know it's arrival, they can read the signs

The wind dances through; excited!

Whimsically bringing the laden clouds that were knighted!

To slice the heat and douse the flames

Of the scorching summer- the sun's mighty reign

Following this, there was a noticeable stir in me. One which nudged into perspective, a new, clearer vision of everything around me. It was this very moment that brought art back into the foreground of my life. Thus, began my humble poetic journey of sorts.

When observed with the keenness of perception- art is everywhere, art is in everything! Art is this very creation! In the veins of leaves- intricate and fine; in the droplets of rain that balance delicately on a leaf blade; in the skyscape where the sun’s rays seem to emerge from the clouds- as if to reinforce hope; in the symbiosis between arthropods and the genera of plant life- quietly but significantly promoting existence; in the meandering path of a river- nourishing its banks.

Right down to our very selves: in the ‘art’eries of our circulatory system- a latticework on a trellis; in the protective arrangement of our epidermis and dermis; in the network of lines on our palms; in the synergistic attachments of our musculature; in our very neural pathways! Designed to esthetic and functional perfection! Designed for higher possibilities!

Art is in the very nature of creation! Art isn’t confined to human perception. Art is in the very fluidity with which the cosmos reverberates. The whole is in the fraction or vice versa- the fraction is a part of the whole. It is this magnanimous sense of art, that gives rise to my pondering and writing.

If this very creation is art, are we but a medium for the eternal cycles of energy. Finally, I’d like to leave you with one fundamental perspective.

Who ‘art’ thou, but a small speck in this wondrous universe!

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