Aesthete: an art curation that connects to the mind

Being an artist, art is something that has always been a safe space to let everything out. It is the feeling of a cozy hug after a tired day and during the lockdown, seeing artists around me use it as a medium to vent, I knew I had to work towards finding out how art is their safe haven! Hence, these stories record how these beautiful artists use and create art during their lows and how it helps their mental space.

  • Nandini Sharma

I am a person who is positive about every aspect of life. I have been very creative since I was a young girl and have been painting for 8 years now. I learnt how to use graphic design softwares and designed banners for my school. I am studying to become a communication designer.

About her work:

When I create something beautiful through painting, it reduces my anxiety and my stress level instantly. It also improves my confidence. When my anxiety is really high, I use mandala art therapy, which calms me down. Mandalas are larger than life and represent a universe that exceeds our consciousness. Abstract art is the most important form of catharsis for me.

My painting ‘Reverie’ depicts a daydream. When I made this painting, it led me to an elevated state of consciousness.

‘Reverie’

Acrylic on canvas 

16×24″

  • Sandhya Subramanian

I’m studying Economics at Miranda House and I’m always out on the lawns or you might run into me in the metro, I’ll be the one reading a book in all the noise there! 

About her work:

The first time I realized that I was not fine was three years back and then after sessions with therapists I got to know that I have depression. Back when I was in Class Nine, I changed schools and found it hard to adapt to the new environment, I wasn’t particularly fond of it. That was when I joined a painting class and realized that painting and creating art works wonders for me. When I’m creating something, anything, I get no other thoughts. I’m totally present in the moment and consumed by what I’m doing. Since then, I’ve seen myself paint and create more during my exams and during times that are ‘stressful’ for most people.

When a few friends told me last year that I should try selling some of the things I made because they loved my skills, I really wasn’t sure. Since childhood I’ve felt a lack of attention and this leads me to feel very dejected a lot of times. So I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where I was trying to sell stuff and I don’t get the response I feel my work should get. So I decided to sell things, but create them at my discretion. Like recently when I was pretty exhausted and saturated with creating resin pendants, I took a break from it and made these pour paintings to ease my mind. I love pour paintings because pouring the paints and watching the colors merge into one another is very calming. 

So, while I use art to distress myself and give a break to my brain, I also keep innovating and try new things every once in a while to stimulate myself and to alleviate my anxieties. 

You can find my work at my Instagram handle @sandhyasmusings and a few other places soon (hopefully!)

  • Angel Peters

While I’m grateful and for most talents I have, there is one in particular unknown to most. Over the years, I’ve become adept at portraying an untrue persona. And I can see how it can be difficult to view someone who never gave importance to personal battles to have any in the first place, for I am no stranger to that oblivion. For as long as I can remember, I have lived (and happily) in a bubble devoid of all that burdened my thoughts, free from the commotion of pressures and struggles, fighting battles in secrecy before finally acknowledging what lay beneath the surface of a seemingly perfect exterior. And it wasn’t before it was very fairly pointed out by someone dear to me, that the longer I reside behind walls, the further they’ll close in on me, that I came to terms with an unhappy angel. One that accepted flaws and things beyond control, one that didn’t beat herself up for shedding a tear.

The goal then became to translate what is often viewed as an impairment, to a medium. In times I felt encountered by destruction (whether self-inflicted or external), the antidote that came naturally was to indulge in creation. In creative expression through art, I found means to not only cope with but exclusively illustrate my anxiety in the most therapeutic ways.

Nothing compares to the feeling of turning to a blank canvas and unleashing raw emotion- a cathartic phenomenon, free of judgment, boundaries, and burdens. My thoughts are given a novel language, emotions channelized and feelings encountered, as the paintbrush sincerely traverses through the canvas and my mind, alleviating any pain or conflict I brought with.

About her artwork ‘SELF’ :

To plunge into the depths of the mysteries of art, us artists often introspect and reflect upon the mystery of our very being- drawing inspiration from experiences of grief, anger, joy, love and passion, translating them into works of art. In my soft pastel painting, ‘Self’ I stepped far outside my element exposing a side to my personality unknown to most. My bleak facial expression represents the wave of struggles faced by adolescents. It marks the conflict attached to the period of transition from youth to adulthood, the onset of which often plunges one into a descending spiral of self doubt and defeat. With the concept of ‘self’ undergoing extreme alteration, these changes often fuel a discrepancy- widening the gap between the real self and the self others deem one to be and I, am no stranger to this feeling. At an entirely personal level, this piece shows the very less seen, vulnerable side to my personality. Optimism being one of my key traits, the expectations I build for those around me, of me to be happy are often binding. A perfectionist, I often involuntarily shape unrealistic standards for my performance in every field, leaving me faced with crossroads between overt smiles and genuine happiness where the line between them is blurred.

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