Preeti Varma © Copyright 2019-25

Aesthetics of the Quotidian #1

Chinese Rice Paper, Digital Image on paper, Paraffin wax

54 x 13 inches/ 138 x 34 cm

2014

SOLD

Aesthetics of the Quotidian #2

Chinese Rice Paper, Digital Image on paper, Paraffin wax

54 x 13 inches/ 138 x 34 cm

2014

Aesthetics of the Quotidian #3

Chinese Rice Paper, Digital Image on paper, Paraffin wax

54 x 13 inches/ 138 x 34 cm

2014

SOLD

Aesthetics of the Quotidian #4

Chinese Rice Paper, Digital Image on paper, Paraffin wax

54 x 13 inches/ 138 x 34 cm

2014

"There is an anaesthetic of familiarity, a sedative of ordinariness which dulls the senses and hides the wonder of existence. For those of us not gifted in poetry, it is at least worthwhile from time to time making an effort to shake off the anaesthetic..”   

 

Richard Dawkins, an ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author, succinctly brings out in the quote above, the wonder of the quotidian. Dawkins observes how one need not be a gifted poet to look at one’s own familiar world in renewed ways. He opines, that we can see things in a different light by making an effort to rid oneself of a certain dullness of the mind induced by familiarity.

 

This quote highlights the ubiquity of apathy which envelopes us. It forms the core of my enquiry into banality and how it is a part of our lives that we remain untouched by. By drawing out the banal, which is but a metaphor, I am seeking to question the amount of conscious and mindful living we practice.

 

What makes us stop and notice what we do and observe? Why is almost everything around us invisible, and yet it is in conscious living that we can find the peace and calm that we are looking for amidst our concrete chaos. Do we really, always need to escape to Mother Nature to experience tranquility or can we also live a more fulfilled life by embracing the innocuous wonders around us, right where we live? 

These works are a result of my unhurried observation of what generally tends to be a fleeting sight of our environment, the urban landscape. They attempt to draw attention to the web of memories we have of our daily existence and interaction with the banal. The narrative also includes our increasing need to be seen, especially with the proliferation of social media. Our short-lived experiences online, mirror our daily observations in real-life.

 

I represent my ideas on the contemporary urban eco-system by presenting familiar yet inconspicuous sights of our daily life in an intriguing play of ambiguity and clarity.The visible parts of the images through the wax create a lyrical composition across the scroll, which references elements of calligraphy and Chinese ink paintings that I am also inspired by.