Sonali Pattnaik


blooming of the grief flower

blooming of the grief flower

Acrylic on paper, July 31, 2021

We live with an idea that forms, bodies of flowers, humans, seasons are composite, tangible and readable. Truth is, forms are constructed and there’s always the play of power in the way they are constructed and hence they are given to mutability and perception. My art resists the seeing and reading of forms, of corporeality, as stable, accessible and fixed. In that, it is political. It resists by defamiliarising stable forms and this painting is one such. Flowers are not flowers and yet they are. It is an exploration into the form of grief. Personal loss, has been incomsensurable and through art I attempt to bring my grief into shape and transform it into something else. After all, death, which we are surrounded by, is a transformation of a body into another form or multiple, overlapping forms. 

Art has helped me to mourn and yet breathe and thus blooms the grief flower. It is a reflection of my loss in the passing away, all too suddenly, of my darling father who is mourned and celebrated every day. I think of so many of us who are caught in this wave of loss and struggle to live and breathe through it.