Immutable snapshots of emotions: Harleen Kaur.

I write in my journal, I spend most of my time in my studio, I read books and talk to the same 5 people, sometimes I spiral, sometimes I cry and then I paint.

Art has always been my escape. It has always been something that gives me comfort even though at times the process of creating the artwork can be emotionally strenuous. But when I have created that work, I just sit and look at it and that feeling has to be the best feeling. I feel as though I am a part of that work and at that moment I know that this is what I am meant to do in life.
My practice has always been very simple and direct. I paint what I am feeling and turn my emotions of angst, feelings of sorrow, anger or pain into works of art. As a person who is always in check with their emotions and likes spending a lot of time thinking about the greater depths of life, my mind constantly oscillates between my inner self and the very question of my existence. Two crucial aspects of my works.

Painting is my sanctuary, my opiate, my forgetting and my oblivion.

During this cathartic process of self-expression I try to feel time revert, I try to erase the difference between now and then. As a result of which creating an immutable snapshot of emotions.
Putting the thoughts in my head into my works and painting is a very private act, and its pleasures tend to be the most intense for the person who is actually doing the painting. However, I also believe that every work of art can be equally pleasurable for the viewer as well. Because when the viewer observes the work, they not only see it but go on an immersive journey and interact with the work. Therefore, I believe that the energy between the viewer and the painting, that space is also part of the work.
If people always look for meaning in not only my but any artwork they are denying themselves the chance to fully experience that work. The artwork is not merely what you perceive on the surface it goes more beyond that, it’s about how every brush stroke makes you feel and how the work narrates a story that is only for you to decipher.
When you look at a work you are not merely looking at the work, you become one with it.

Medium: Mixed media on canvas
Size: 10” X 12”
Year: 2019

Medium: Mixed media on canvas
Size: 10” X 12”
Year: 2019

Title: “Sunflower field”
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 10” X 12”
Year: 2018

*When I think about sunflowers, I think of a warm day at the sunflower field with the fresh breeze of
air brushing against my hair.

Title: “Movement”
Medium: Acrylic on newsprint
Size: 17” X 25”
Year: 2020


Title: “Bleeding” (1/5)
Medium: Photoprint and Serigraphy
Size: 18” X 24”
Year: 2019

Title: “Psithurism”
Medium: Mixed media on canvas
Size : 48” X 56”
Year: 2020

*My favourite thing about trees is the sound they make when a cool breeze of air hits the leaves.
Nature has played a huge part in my life and something about this sound brings me so much
calmness and tranquillity.


Artist Statement:

“I find myself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one. It’s this frontier country between the tangible world and the intangible one, that is the realm of my artistic approach. Through my works, I constantly try to uncover my emotional and spiritual psyche. Art is both a representation and imitation of nature, reality, and an artist’s experience in relation to their environment. The imitation does not indicate to reproducing an external reality but an internal one.
My work is a depiction of this internal reality that showcases my emotional responses as a result of contact with my immediate environment. One of the most important thing for me as an artist is also the viewer-artist interaction every work involves. I have always believed art to be very subjective, I think that art is a journey that anyone who comes in contact with embarks upon, and I don’t want to tell them how to go about it. I am more interested in overturning the systems of thought and allowing the viewer to come to their conclusions.”

Harleen Kaur is a New Delhi-India based fine artist.

This story is a part of our new series: Artist Speakeasy. Through this series, we encourage artists to write about their work with full freedom, and with no editorial influence.

To submit your story you can reach out to us through our Instagram account or write to us via e-mail.


One thought on “Immutable snapshots of emotions: Harleen Kaur.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

Wole Lagunju: The Empire Paints Back.

The Curious Works of Harnoor Suri.

Exploring the beauty of our ethnicity: Namrata Kumar

Her opulently dressed women in their maang-tikkas and strings of pearl, seem alive and assertive; as if they are going to pop out of the painting and ask you for…