Do you remember Johanna Tagada who did a creative image feature for us? I like how fluffy the texture of everything looks under her lens as if life is so tender and lovable. Johanna is not only a painter and a sculptor, but she also runs a small scale publishing house Poetic Pastel Press, while at the same time collaborating with artists she admires for homeware production. I soon realized that no matter what medium she uses, they all ended up exuding the same feeling. This just happened organically rather than as a planned result. Johanna is currently residing in the UK together with her husband Jatinder Singh Durhailay who is a composer, musician, and a painter. The husband and wife are also the best partners to each other’s creative career. In the magazines and journals Johanna publishes under Poetic Pastel Press, readers can at time find content that is created and composed by Jatinder such at Tea Notes a cassette complementing Journal du Thé; this is among other how the two’s practices complement one another.
Last year marked the first time they lived outside of Europe. The two of them moved to Tamil Nadu in India for four months and spent the majority of their time in Auroville, an experimental township founded in 1968. In the inauguration ceremony, around 5000 representatives from 124 countries gathered and poured a cup of earth from their area into a big jar, representing the unity of all human races. This action also echoes with the township’s vision saying “Auroville belongs to nobody in particular. Auroville belongs to humanity as a whole.” Afterward, 3 million trees were planted that turned the once deserted land into a vibrant forest. People see Auroville the future of human civilization, to many spiritualists and environmentalist, this township is a utopia that they believe in. Auroville currently has almost 3000 residents of 54 nationalities.
The biggest change to Johanna’s and Jatinder’s daily life was the sunshine they got to enjoy every day. Compared to gloomy England, India is sunny on most days. “Our daily environment was filled with light, sun, nature, plants, birds, insects and animals. We have very tender recollection of this atypical ‘winter’.” Enjoying winter in a completely new way, not only was their daily life changed, but the ordinary and regular daily schedule also gave them a lot of creative inspirations. It was a life close to nature.
Jatinder, who has Indian heritage, taught himself Indian miniature paintings. This type of paintings uses only natural pigments created by shells, stones or soil; whereas each painter has their personal way of mixing the colors. The paper used for Indian miniature painting is a kind of handmade paper called wasli paper. Everything is very primitive, but primitive things get to be sustained because of people’s dedication. “There is nothing to distract us. During that period of time, we had a greater capacity to explore the questions of life. I would say it was an important experience for us as an individual, as well as a couple.”
Returning from their trip, Johanna and Jatinder put their experience into the publication India Yātrā. The publication is available online but low in stock.
孩子在聽Jatinder演奏。Children listening to Jatinder’s performance.