Letters to Myself is the title of an exhibition currently on display at Long Street Art Lovers 1932, in Pretoria, until the 26 February. It is the first solo exhibition by Videsh Singh, who studied at Tshwane University of Technology and lives in Pretoria.
Singh is a painter whose abstract works are primarily acrylic on canvas. He is also a calligrapher and this influence is visible in his work. His style is reminiscent of the Abstract Expressionism of the early modernists and artists like Joan Miro. The Abstract Expressionists used gestural brush-strokes or mark making in a spontaneous manner in order to evoke expressive or emotional artworks. Singh follows a very similar method of working. The theme that underpins this series of paintings is the idea that language (written and spoken) cannot fully articulate and express our thoughts and emotions.
Words describe how we feel, but cannot express or describe the depth of our emotion. Internal dialogue shares the burden of our emotion by pivoting the emotion on a fulcrum of language. (Artist’s statement)
The ‘letters to myself’ that the artist refers to are the messages that arise out of his subconcious and find their way into his artworks. He writes, “I use abstract mark making and a written language inexplicable even to myself”. This is a very personal process that allows him to channel spiritual and emotional thoughts into works of art. This process is cathartic and perhaps allows the artist to have a better understanding of himself.
All the artworks are untitled and this is because Singh states that he does not know what they mean in ‘linguistic’ terms (email correspondence). Letters to Myself showcases a thought provoking collection of paintings by Videsh Singh which encourages us to consider the limitations of language and the spoken word when expressing ourselves.
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Singh, V. (email correspondence)