‘Triple Enlightenment’ is set in locations on the Indian subcontinent in the past, present-day and future. It combines my poetry, drawings and watercolours with my still and moving photography. The trilogy will be staged in its entirety, with a print and online publication, in galleries in India, the UK, and the Far East from 2024 onwards.
These interconnected projects explore points of harmony and conflict between practices that foster spiritual ‘Enlightenment’ and the scientific and industrial legacy of the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ that originated in Western Europe. Might a third Enlightenment slow down the sixth age of mass extinction, saving humanity and those other species whom we have not already destroyed?
The first part of the trilogy, ‘The Right Speech’ (in pre-production) is set circa 500 BCE. In this short film with accompanying paintings and prints, we are taken into the womb of Queen Māyā of Sakya, the Buddha’s mother, whilst she speaks to her unborn child.
‘The Right Speech’ (pre-production digital sketch)
‘Reversed Curses’, (in post-production) is set in contemporary Delhi. Using the sacred Hindu text the Bhagavad Gita as a frame story, the viewer experiences the stream of consciousness of Aarav, a railway clerk approaching retirement and questioning his faith. Aarav’s interior conversations begin with his god Krishna, a superego whose voice transforms into those of many others. The drama moves from playful humour to a fight for Aarav’s sanity.
‘In Indra’s Net’ concludes the trilogy. Two botanists in the year 3,222 AD collect data, make scans using a mysterious machine, and take notes during a field trip where, 4,000 years earlier, the Buddha is said to have achieved Enlightenment. Their rhyming dialogue questions their work, the moral problems science must address, and its relationship to spirituality and power.