There are many ways of performing introspection — one could take time to themselves, indulge in reading a rather famous piece of literature,or even go on a sabbatical. Not many of these methods produce something one can call their own, or get them to realise just what it is they were struggling to comprehend.
A 19-year-old artist from New Delhi, Tora, uses her artistic talents to express all that runs through her brain- her own way of introspection, while she creates surreal pieces of art. Her artwork is not limited to personal pieces; it also extends to the much-needed sphere of political art. With symbolisms like water, foliage and nature, she creates imagery that is almost as if it is open to interpretation but also has a rigid message embedded in it.
“I have always gone with the flow and allowed myself to draw whatever I want. Usually, I have a visual in my head, and start from there,” Tora explains her unique style of creating art. Her inspiration from nature is evident in her pieces, and she says that its reflection could mean anything from inner growth to stagnation. With profuse use of symbolism, she puts down themes and concepts that are unclear to herself in the beginning, but begin to take shape and clarify its meaning as she continues. Her finished pieces may seem confusing to others for the same reason, but if one is able to put a little thought into its details and intricacies, the motivation behind the piece unfurls itself.
“The meaning behind my art becomes clear to me later, after I am finished with the piece. It is like my artworks teach me something about myself that I hadn’t realised consciously before,” Tora says.
Some of her art reflects the political situation of our country, and truly, does not shy away from isolating the downfalls of the system. In one of her standout pieces, she questions the ‘democratic’ status of India. Accompanied by a snippet of a text conversation that light-heartedly laughs off the compromised social structure is a gory and all-too-real illustration of a broken and bloodied camera and a mobile phone. As the artwork mirrors the pitiful state of the ‘fourth pillar of democracy’, Tora completes the piece with her comment, “For all the journalists in front of the lines, currently under sentence, were under sentence in the past, who have been tortured and killed for their work- you are the true definition of freedom.”
Tora’s work is deeply inspired by Frida Kahlo’s, and the knowledge of this fact allows one to spot the similarities in their works straight away. “Her use of symbolism and deeper meaning is fascinating. Her work really forces people to think. It is also very open-ended and allows the audience to come up with their own understanding of the artworks,” she says. The extensive usage of dense greenery, overt expression through crowded spaces and the almost-shielded human faces are Tora’s symbolism techniques of choice.
Art and expression are closely linked and seen in Tora’s work, sometimes such expression creates the opportunity to understand oneself. It is almost as if her inner voice guides her body to lay certain shapes and colours on the platform in a manner that describes her best. If the comprehension of one’s own conscience isn’t one of art’s biggest feats, it’s hard to figure out what is.
You can check out Tora’s work here.
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