In Lines from Nature John writes of his visit to the Bandhavgarh Nature Reserve in northern India.
” I have only seen a small part of Madhya Pradesh, but I suspect that for all who have been to India, the reality leaves a confused impression – the pressures of a teeming population; dust, noise, colour, smells, golden light, a resilient but fatalistic spirit in the struggle for existence.
The seeming chaos of human life contrasts with the calm of wild India. Jungles which once dominated large areas are now preserved as diminishing islands in the sea of humanity. Here, the animals can live their own lives, if humans allow, and among them the tiger is still ‘Lord of the Jungle’: but for how long?…
…Whether my work gets close to a true image of India I don’t know. Like my childhood miming of the action of animals and birds, I feel that my drawing has to prowl, spring and fly; launching into the empty whiteness of a page with marks that may grow – sometimes becoming clear and meaningful in the process; sometimes disappearing behind a confused undergrowth of thoughts. Not all our experiences can be resolved in art, yet many remain, like tigers, to haunt us all our lives.”
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