EXPRESSIONS IN CHARCOAL:

THE DARK ARTS

Concept Note

Simple everyday dark expressions as felt are exaggerated and expressed in a medium that I believed resonated with their effect perfectly- dark charcoal. 

Find portraits, drawings, horrorscapes and murals created in mixed media- the primary medium being black charcoal stick and powders- resonating the negative expressions we feel everyday and how they heighten themselves into worse manifestations.

The Feeling of Being Trapped
Charcoal, Indian Ink, Texture white, and Chalk on paper

The objective of this class exercise was to emote thoughts and expressions referred from lenses including fantasy, myth, emotion, and more, through as drawing language. In order to convey the intended through ways of drawing and bringing about the light versus dark contrast, that task was to create a narrative that seemingly defined and explained itself via literal and hidden metaphors, juxtaposed implications and bilateral and direct symbols.

The outline of the picture portrays how one’s mental uneasiness and dark thoughts prison them in enclosed mental spaces, wherein the promise of something better is visible, but practically unattainable. The artwork is a metaphorical representation of one’s mind- such that is littered with ‘dark thoughts’ like worthlessness, anger, hatred, insecurity, and a sense of being trapped. On the side corner is a keyhole that peeps into a wonder-land inspired scenery- one that appears lighter and brighter, and carries promise of better mental stimulation. The key to fit in and open the enclosure, however, is nowhere to be seen, making the content is visible into the hole appear much more faraway than they actually may be. This again highlights a sense of never attaining success- a sense that grows to simple fuel the flame that burns existing hope and traps the individual into its confines even more (go right-to-left in the visual to understand the narrative). And that, according to the artist, is the ‘Feeling of being Trapped’.

The Metamorphosis of a Sick Mind
Charcoal, metallic pen, calligraphy ink, texture white, OHP and Grain sheet and metallic tape on Paper

Primarily inspired by the distorted kind of geometric confusion from the works of Pablo Picasso, Trisha aimed to bring about a sense of distortion and unpleasant restlessness through methods of her own. 

 

During the process of abstraction, the reliance on instincts proved beneficial at some moments, and destructive in some. The destruction, however, only seemed to work in favour of the dark thoughts that were attempted to evoke- the culmination and cultivation of personal hatred, insecurities, worthlessness, and other negative mental imbalances that plague our mental state of mind on a daily basis. The first layer of bold black charcoal topped with stark contrasting texture white depicts the various ‘state-of-mind’ problems our sentimentalities battle with on a daily basis. This layer was followed by the colour- gold, copper and silver- bringing forth points of interest where the visuals created in charcoal were covered by butter paper or OHP sheets to layer another dimension to the same element.

The skeleton of the bird turned into the face of a geese- Drawing as an Expression depicting the emergence of freedom over hopelessness- and the symbol of death-moth- was topped by a powerful ram. 

 

Together, the two layers portrayed how an individual (starting from the bottom) begins to feel insecure of himself, and as the anger, self-loathing, sense of un-belonging and abandonment increases, so does a cry for change and freedom (the bird on top). While the extent of said thoughts was obviously exaggerated through the intensity of powerful, decaying visuals, Trisha wanted to express how such thoughts and insecurities can be inevitably unhealthy, and well, disruptive for personal welfare. This is where the final layer of black metallic tape came into play. It was used as a tool to distort the composition of the picture, similar to the distorting and state of chaos one’s mind experiences when following such dark thoughts.

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Mumbai, India

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