Kerala-based artist Thaj Backer says a naturally-made Arabic ink helped him overcome a inventive slowdown
On one among his strolls round his hometown Ponnani, artist Thaj Backer came upon one thing that ignited his curiosity: a vendor who bought Arabic ink to the madrassas within the locality. The ink, he discovered, was used within the ceremonial initiation of a kid into the world of letters. Intrigued, Thaj started to be taught extra about it.
Out there solely in a number of outlets promoting the Quran within the space, this pure ink is made utilizing burnt rice and tree gum (as a binder) and is powdered. “I imagine there’s a sure honour in working with native sources and this ink was a discovery,” says Thaj, who wasted no time in shopping for it.
“The powdered ink is often combined with both boiled and cooled water or rose water. The combination is then poured into a bit of muslin, tied and hung up in order that the pure ink is collected,” he says. It’s jet black and flows simply on paper, Thaj provides.
He has been felicitously utilizing the Arabic ink for the drawings he has been doing as a part of Inktober, a month-long international artwork problem, which has artists showcasing their inking abilities. Taking part artists are anticipated to submit one drawing a day by way of the month, primarily based on the theme offered.
The themes are random — ‘crow’, ‘hope’, ‘lure’ and ‘coral’ for instance. Thaj says the collection helped him overcome a inventive block he had been experiencing ever for the reason that pandemic broke out.
“This has been an particularly taxing interval for artists who derive inspiration from human interactions and journey. For me, artwork just isn’t a solitary exercise. I derive lots of vitality from individuals for my work,” he says. “I’m the type of one who takes off on a prepare journey with no specific vacation spot in thoughts after I really feel careworn. It’s stifling not having the ability to try this.”
Thaj can also be a performing artist. For the previous 10 years has explored mediums that embrace theatre, portray, sculpture and designing.
He was a part of ABC (Artwork by Kids), a programme initiated by the Kochi Muziris Biennale Basis to run research-driven artwork interventions for kids and artwork educators to assist them attain their inventive potential.
Thaj is at the moment engaged on a collection that explores the nuances of romance, the physique and nudity. Titled Udalukalude Unmaadam, (Ecstasy of the Physique), it has over 60 works completed in charcoal on paper.
Thaj can be a part of a digital residency organised by Home Conspiracy, an arts organisation primarily based in Australia. He may even be showcasing his work in a web based group present, ‘For the Kisans’.
The works completed for Inktober can be documented as a private assortment and will be considered at @Thajbackerofficial on Instagram.