My INK talk is on TED!

Today at 23 years old on 22022012 my talk is out on on the stage that I designed!!
Forget stomach, my entire body has been taken over by big beautiful butterflies and I am a flutter.
I started my journey with Khoya in search of magic, and this magic found me.
It found me in Love, in Work and in myself and for this I am grateful.

Download it here! 

The labour of love, and many sleepless nights.
and a constant reminder to :

Thank you TED, Thank you all of the INK team and Lakshmi, Shanna, Nilofer, Avijit, Gayatri, Arfaaz, Anders, Inkoniq and everyone else that's part of the big Khoya journey.
Shilo Shiv Suleman

All the World's

...A Stage
and this was mine. my private universe upon which dreams unfolded, chariots took off
and like water moving through a river, it never remained the same.
I designed this stage over 3 months while working on Khoya for the INK conference this year in Jaipur. As their featured artist of the year, the stage, the book and the entire conference became my canvas, a fertile bed upon which my dreams could take root.
Ofcourse, I had never designed a stage before. But we all start somewhere!
and I started here. A lightbulb, a meticulous cutout in paper, and an idea.  

An intricate web of laser cutouts, layers in wood and mdf all hung and studded across the sky with a back projection with constantly changing backdrops. There would not be a moment of static on my stage, the cutouts were silhouetted by two large animations, and over the span of four days, the colours changed, forests were born, clouds gathered and rained upon it, giant butteflies took over the stage and constellations twinkled.

this was the sketch that I'd made of the stage. and saw it come to life. 
and so it was, white cutouts, open to being transformed with light. (and some love).

And it changed, it morphed from the deepest purple skies like you see below, complete with shooting stars and rockets.

to golds and ambers and blues.
here's a close up of the cutouts in silhouette. 

and quite by accident or fate, while watching it I would see beautiful coincidences, as Julie Taymor, director of Frida and Across the Universe (the namesake to this blog) spoke about a setting sun and the Source of all Inspiration, a sun rose over her head. There she was, source of my inspiration talking about her source on my stage. Tears rose and spilled over.

And by my side, helping me along as I designed my first set were Raghava who brought me in and took me through :) Hilary of bubbles and great bouncy ideas, Paddy of crafty solutions to anything and Anil who laboriously got these produced and dusted. Avijit and my mother and more for moral support and Team Oktopus for endless tracing.

 More from the Stage and INK coming soon. :)

Magical Mystery Tour

 The Magical Mystery tour is coming to take you away!
I count my lucky stars that I can make a living doing things like painting buses.
 I was chosen as one of 5 artists from India along with 5 from Germany to work on a Street Art Project in Bangalore curated by Archana Prasad and Robert.  It's called Urban AvantGarde Bangalore and we're going to be painting all kinds of wonders around the city this week! Next in line is painting an old train station here which I'm quite excited about.
One of the many dreams I've harnessed since I was a wee girl was to paint a bus! At one point I was pretty certain I wanted to live in a bus and replace all the seats with a giant bed!
The giant bed bit is yet to be realized but I did get to paint a bus!

Such lovely interactions with the local workshop guys there, one of whome came to me and said 'yeh to sukoon ka kaam hai' (this is a job of great peace and contentment). And it is.

And now onto the next wall. I feel very small :)

We two ours One.

My mother Nilofer Suleman (illustrated by me above) started her artistic journey as a cartographer, and perhaps that's where my journey began too. As a child I'd spend hours watching her pour over those maps and each word would become a gateway into a world full of pirates and shipwrecks and images that lurk in my imagination.

Here we are when I was little. And as the source of my river and the tree of my apples, on her birthday here is some of her work below: and you can see more here:


A still from the Creation Myth of Khoya- click to see details

"There is some kiss we want with
our whole lives, the touch of
spirit on the body. Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling! At
night, I open the window and ask the moon
to come and press its face against mine.
Breathe into me. Close the language door and
open the love window. The moon
won’t use the door, only the window"

Let me say this, I am not one for Valentines, red ribbons, cheesy songs and teddybears. 
the greatest lesson for me in Love has been :
Beloved.  Be-loved.   Be love   and Let Love be.

 And my two beautiful and best friends, depicted in the portrait above proved exactly this when they slipped into a marriage quietly and gracefully, without any show and pomp. As if they had slid from one room to another, with no change of costume. A simple and sacred thing. Letting Love be. 

 In other forms of Love, the cd I designed for Jai Uttal, 'Queen of Hearts', a collection of songs for Radha and Krishna was sent across the seven seas to me a while ago. Here's a picture of what it ended up looking like.
I also turned 23 on the 1st of this month, and spent the day alone with Rose wine and Vincent's thick beautiful blues at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam where I went roaming post the DLD conference with my Beloved. Be loved. Be. Love.

We did Munich, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin as part of a Khoya tour of sorts and it was all that I dreamt of. More revelations and relics from the trip in a post that will soon follow. :) 

and in another form of Love altogether, here's Sufi, my bundle of love when he was a puppy a year or more ago. He's a lot bigger now but his love has not changed. 

and there's so much love to give. and there's so much love to give.