In Bengal what an artist does is often described through the following story;
"A saddhu was sitting with his students when one of them asked, "What is an artist?" The saddhu answered:
"Two birds sat in a tree. In Bengal people believe feeding birds brings luck and soon someone came and scattered seed. One bird flew down to peck, calling to his friend, "There's plenty, come and eat!" But the other bird only looked on. Soon the first bird called again, "Come on! Come and eat!" But the second bird just watched.
"In this world", said the sadhu, there are two kinds of people. Most are the bird eating. Some are the bird watching. The artist is both."
Peripatetic art practice is for me about being with the world and its immediacies. Like the story of the two birds, I am responding to the idea that art emerges from considering the experience of life, my observations of culture and environment, and to the invitations of others.
This form of art practice invokes archetypal ideas of the Storyteller, Wanderer, Volunteer, Healer, and Activist. I put myself out in the world, proximate to issues on the ground, where my work becomes about listening, being with others, and storying that which they share.
This is a challenging form of art practice in which I am positioned as a transient, wanderer. It draws me to work in unfamiliar contexts where I may not know the language, environment, or culture. But though a storyteller might never belong anywhere in particular, the idea that they belong with the story that needs to be told is a powerful one. I might always working out and through “the anxiety of rootlessness” but in another sense, I am always returning home.