I could claim to derive my inspiration from the straight lines that define the borders of traditional Tibetan rugs. Or from the Tibetan architecture of the monasteries that dot the foothills of the Indian Himalayan area that I currently call home. Their colourful ornamental geometric shapes and lines resembling beams stacked atop one another like building blocks.
And it would be true. For here lie the origins of this series.
But I would rather remark upon the fact that even a seemingly simple straight line depends on its context, and that it is almost impossible to remain wedded to principles or precepts in India.
Impossible not to be influenced by the visual richness that surrounds me. By the imagery employed in the Tibetan craft of carpet weaving, the meandering rivers, the fire-breathing dragons, the abstract tigers.
Or by the flowers in the garden, the snake crossing a path, or the frog that found its way into the toilet. By the variety and abundance of everything, and the intensity that typifies life in India.
By the unfathomable paradoxical coexistence of unprecedented craftsmanship and a daily life characterised by negligence. By the unpredictable and aweing presence of nature — to witness hailstones the size of marbles and thunderstorms of biblical proportions looming from the mountains is to suddenly grasp the logic of traditional motifs like 'cloudbanks'.
Or by the omnipresent spirituality. In an area where it is not uncommon to see monks filling the air with breathtakingly beautiful song one minute and scrolling through messages on their iPhones the next, feet snug in trendy sneakers, latte macchiato in one hand, it is difficult not to bend.