“A Hand to be Held” – The Third Absolution

It is often in the flurry of faces that one overlooks that which they’re left behind with. A feeling of solitude kicks in with nothing but a recession of sentiment to forget the pang of grievances that resort to color your life black, white and grey. It is often by looking at others that one finds himself but it is often in looking that one forgets itself too. Nameless, faceless and voiceless figures are no better than those that stand beside you with hypocrisy running through them like adrenaline. It is then when that which has left you stranded gives you the significance of colors, those that merge, metamorphose and conform into a hand waiting to be held.


The prepossession in existence is the constitution of variance in a singularity – a multitude of expression concealed in the sanity of self-control and acceptance. A choir of symphonies either deliberately silenced or preferably unheard that bounce around and are reflected and diffracted under the laws of metaphysics which paradoxically are more or less constituted around the laws of sane insanity. Just like the voice of help echoed in a crowd of commotion but no one tends to hear above their own voices either literally or metaphorically. Or maybe even like ripples of a bad omen across a sea of disdain.

It is surprising to see how throwing a bunch of colors together with some sense of meaning and differentiation can make certain an unfathomable depth. How at times the human mind is surprising enough to forget meaning in the most obvious and simple of things but at the same time find a sense of relief and warmth in complexity and intricacy. Thus it is not always a matter of how one thinks, but circumstantially how one ends up looking at things and what he finds in it.

The Creative Process Involved

Vincent Van Gogh once said, “I have put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind the process.” When I tend to look at this painting, I always ask myself about what is the difference between passion and madness. Though I am unsure of the integrity of each of those individual things, I do know that there is if not a slight difference in between. One doesn’t always pursue something if it is not for a driving purpose, hidden most of them either in plain sight or in the intricacy of the work that one pursues incessantly.

Going through images of paintings with a multitude of faces and figures some found in cubism, others in realism and even in contemporary art, there is some sort of fascination that comes with the anonymity of a figure of a face without any of its differentiating features. I never understood it, I mean it looked spectacular and breath-taking in fact in each painting there would always be a sense of complexity that I couldn’t seem to point out.  Well, it was until I decided to paint something of the same sort and this is how the idea popped. I thought that by painting these metamorphosing figures merging here and there and then just adding color as I go, it would be either a disaster or an art piece and who said disasters can’t be art pieces?

So, I decided to go with it anyways. And this was a long and tedious journey where I would just open paints and let them flow on the canvas as I wanted to and even though this isn’t even demanding of an elongated painting process, let’s just say that I procrastinated immensely. I prolonged this for months due to school and assignments and exams going on, or in other words simple excuses. However, throughout this, something was charming about the painting that would revert me back to it if not long afterward. Maybe it was the appalling sense of completion awaiting or something in the expressionless faces and figures that reminded me of something quite hidden and concealed and I have always loved to create something colorful out of the scorn, contempt and disdain that is often followed through in life.

So, this painting was painted with acrylics because of course, I knew I was somehow going to prolong the painting process and so I did not want to have the incessant smell of turpentine oil in my room at all times and I also wanted the painting to dry faster.

And as far as the faceless, expressionless figures and faces themselves are concerned, for the spectator it can mean a multitude of things. Be it emotions, sentiments, personalities, characteristics, traits, characters themselves, people, ideologies and even contemplations. Whatever they might be for the spectator, it is, of course, something of variance and diversity that makes it all different but similar simultaneously and as the painter I have always liked to think of it just as the name suggests itself. As humans, our circumstances differ, but our core values remain the same. We tend to feel the same emotions at varying intensities but only in different circumstances however the core edifice of those sentiments remains the same because in the end all we do need is a hand to be held.

And this all forms the edifice of the poem that inspires this painting, “A Hand to be Held” by Imaan Siddiq. As the poem states:

I close my eyes,

In the incessant wish to see a figure,

A figure of hope, light, comfort and warmth,

It is then when I long to feel the warmth,

Of the one that felt in a similar way,

A feeling perhaps,

A touch,

A sentiment,

A flicker of the eyes,

A gentle smile,

Or even a hand to be held.

Photography of the Said Narrative


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