Jason Oddy

I made the series Varanasi a number of years ago during an uncertain period in my life. Not for sure quite the same heightened level of uncertainty brought on by a global pandemic, but still a pivotal moment which I felt the need to respond to through making work. I’d gone on a sort of holiday cure to Varanasi, the holy Hindu city that lies along the most sacred stretch of the Ganges. I wanted to think about change and renewal and saw in the river’s endless variability a metaphor for how these things are not only inescapable, but also how they are amongst the few guaranteed constants in life. If making this series helped me see that being in flux is the natural order of things, then it also acted as a spur to reformulating some of the more delimiting concerns that had informed many of my projects up until that point.

Now in these Covid times it’s helpful to revisit the intuitions that I gained through making this body of work. In particular knowing that however difficult and constraining the present may seem, change will always come. What better way to appreciate this than by contemplating water, that element towards which, in moments of turbulence and stress, we always instinctively turn?

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