My artistic language works at the generic crossroads of the disciplines of art, art history and  poetry. Exhibited here are the latest works from  my Matchbox Poems series, which originally was the title for a set of poems as drawings printed and encased in a special matchbox, slightly larger than normal size. In exhibitions these were also displayed as A-4 size prints. Later the text-based activity expanded into larger sizes and various surfaces like cloths etc.


I 'm fascinated by the world of letters. Calligraphic explorations in the world of contemporary art has profound impact on sustaining a civilisational imagination in our lives.

For me, letters are visual forms of condensed linguistic creativity. I am pushing letters into bodies that perform complexly layered cultural lives we live today. For instance, one of these works shows a word from an oral language that has no system of writing. But i connect with their system of imagination- a drapery that's a waterfall ! 'Mother tongue' does not lie in  any specific linguistic system or provenance that we are born into, but in the creative common treasury of sensuous imaginations.


Images of letters and words gain meanings by chance. Seemingly absurd for the one who doesn't know a specific language, they are but placed in ways out of regularised orders and canons of the world. I wish to call them my calligraphic thoughts, not because I belong to, or trained in any privileged cultural order of calligraphic poetry but I love to place it in a more modern and improvisational sense. I happened to toggle between the domains of words and visuals, since childhood. A juggler has no loyalty to meanings and objects but to the beauty of the very 'handy' doing. The beauty lies in this situation where one who deviates, can invent rules and break them on chances and choices.


Dr Kavitha Balakrishnan