2009 - Mine Over Matter


Usha Seejarim, Every man for himself /the drop’s denial of it’s ocean-ness (2009), Ink on Fabriano by stamp, 780 x 1380 mm



Usha Seejarim, Defining the self; Black, Indian or Negro 1 (2009), Ink on Fabriano by stamp with Windsor & Newton ink box, 600 x 1220 mm

Mine over Matter explores a deeply personal investigation of the self and the relationship of the self to its environment; an understanding of oneself beyond the labels of being female and African, beyond being a mother, and an artist. It is an analysis of identity further than culture, nationality, gender and heritage. When the illusionary workings of the mind and ego is revealed then a clearer perception of the true self emerges. This exhibition is an attempt to grapple with this duality; the outer appearance of self; the one presented to the world, and the inner voice that exists in us.

The word “mine” in the title refers to the ego. The constant need within us to own, to have, to want and to desire. Even if it is the desire of non material things, we seem always to be wanting more than we have. And “matter” references the stuff. The accumulation of material objects that seems to define our existence.

Linked to our endless desires is a denial of the present moment. We seem mentally and emotionally to always be everywhere else but here. And whenever we are not present our ego, or superficial self is. This awareness (not yet understanding or realization) has been inspired by a number of readings and the act of meditation. This exhibition is an illustration of this awareness. It has been executed through a number of stamp drawings and a few sculptures.

The stamp drawings themselves are meditative as images are constructed through the repetitive act of stamping.