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BC as a space for art-practice is conceived as a house that hosts many ideas and point of views, a venue for arts to fuse and multiply.

Wood of Suicides

‘Wood of Suicides’

Recent works / kp pradeepkumar.


The Fate of Suicides


The moment that the violent soul departs
the body it has torn itself away from
Minos sends it down to the seventh hold


It drops to the wood, not in a place allotted,
but anywhere that fortune tosses it.
there, like a grain of spelt, it germinate.


The primary occupants of the ring of violence to the self are suicides. Since the suicides have “denied the God-given sanctity of their bodies on earth,” they are deemed unfit for human form. At the gates of hell stands King Minos who judges to what level of hell the damned should be condemned. Since they tore themselves away from their body through violence, Minos discards their souls into the Forest of Suicides and the soul grows into an anguished and gnarled tree or bush. Notice the placement of the soul is haphazard and disordered – “anywhere that fortune tosses it” – analogous to how the Suicides treated their bodies.2

(Dante’s Divine Comedy Volume One: the Inferno)

 The title ‘Wood of Suicides’ originates from Dante Alighieri’s14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. Allegorically, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin.

English poet, painter and printmaker William Blake (1757–1827) illustrates a passage from the Inferno title as ‘The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies and the Suicides’ as a pencil, ink paper artwork series. The harpies in Dante's version feed from the leaves of oak trees which entomb suicides. At the time Canto XIII (or The Wood of Suicides) was written, suicide was considered by the church as at least equivalent to murder, and a contravention of the Commandment "Thou shalt not kill". Many theologians believed it to be a deeper sin than murder, as it constituted a rejection of God's gift of life. Dante describes a tortured wood infested with harpies, where the act of suicide is punished by encasing the offender in a tree, thus denying eternal life and damning the soul to an eternity as a member of the restless living dead, and prey to the harpies. Blake's painting shows Dante and Virgil walking through a haunted forest at a moment when Dante tears a leaf from a bleeding tree. He drops it in shock on hearing the disembodied words, "Wherefore tear'st me thus? Is there no touch of mercy in thy breast?".

 ‘Wood of Suicides’is the title of one painting in this exhibition; I try to paint last two years, still it create confusion and question on my imprecise art practice and life. Most of the time I lost permanence in act of painting and subjectivity and I didn’t get anywhere in everyday practice of painting; I comprehend this crisis is my reality of existence, that I would say ‘I paint the fact that I painted’. The subject matter of landscape an accidental result becomes an irrefutable necessity on canvas.The works in this exhibition is only some pulled out fragments from my inconsistent art practice of few years. I accept this coherency itself a undeniable fact I like to expose."   KP Pradeepkumar



KP Pradeepkumaris an independent visual artist works between Kochi and Baroda for a decade. He did his BFA from College of Fine Arts Thiruvananthapuram early nineties, he had been working and exhibiting in  and around the country and he has received many awards for his pursuit of perception.

Ph. +91 9446484624/ kpkpradip@gmail.com


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