i the flame (2018)
This performance is an experiment and an effort to shift the level of consciousness from Concentration to Awareness and from thinking to Not thinking.
The act of constantly gazing at the flame is a challenge for the mind to stay in the present moment. The artist reminds their mind by audibly saying – “I’m looking at the flame,” to come back to the present moment again whenever any thought crosses their mind.
The artist lights a new candle if the eyes look away from the flame by chance. They light another candle just before the current candle is going to be finished to maintain the constant flow of the energy, and an uninterrupted smooth shifting of the gaze from one to another flame.
The automatic prolongation of the very basic movements of eating, walking and sitting in the performance due to the constant connection with the flame indicates the irony of our being disconnected and lost most of the time in our day-today life while doing the same acts without awareness, in other words, actually not experiencing the living of life!
The title of the piece, I The Flame, directly comes from the phenomenon of oneness and reunion, in other words, identification with the Inner Self or the Soul who actually resides in a body in form of a flame as described in Hindu scriptures.
Vandana, born in Haryana, India, has completed her MFA in Fine Art from London, UK, after attending Rachana Sansad Academy of Fine Arts & Craft, Mumbai, and achieving Masters degree in English from New Delhi following her Bachelors degree from Haryana, India. She has exhibited her work in India (Including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata), United Kingdom (including London), Switzerland and South Korea.
She has been awarded Kingston Award GOLD Level in 2018 and GREAT Scholarship Award in 2015 by Kingston University & British Council London. Vandana was awarded Third Prize for her Live Performance Chapter Close, at pratyagati-Journey Home, exhibition cum competition in Mumbai, juried by eminent artists Mr. Subodh Gupta & Ms. Shilpa Gupta, and organized by Stiftung Futur, Switzerland in 2017. Her work, City of London, has been featured as staff pick of the week during Jerwood Drawing Prize 2016 year long touring exhibition in the UK. She was honored by Gallery Sree Arts with Creative Artist Award in 2014.
She was an artist in residence at Stiftung Futur Artist Residency Program, Switzerland, in April-June 2013. Vandana received Excellence Award-First Prize for her monograph on Silence, by RSAFAC, Mumbai in 2011, and the Best Artist 2003, title award, by Adarsh College(MDU) in addition to University Rank 13th in 2003.