The subject in the portrait mesmerises, holds your attention, creates an almost uncomfortable self-consciousness as you struggle to face the feeling of being seen. The gaze challenging you straight on, forcing you to acknowledge your presence and mirroring our humanness. This non-verbal confrontation intensely distinguishes between the seeing individual and the individual as being ‘seen’. Standing in front of a portrait defines you as separate from and ‘other’ to the subject. This is the first lesson we learn as children, that we are separate from our parent.
It is an almost painful state of awareness. Separation dissolves the symbiotic illusion in which are nestled. From the moment our parents see us, to when we become conscious of how we are being seen by the world, to when we embrace how time’s narrative has inscribed itself upon our faces and bodies; we constantly struggle between the self as innate consciousness and the physical appearance of that self.
A rebel artist with a spirit that cannot be tamed, Booshra’s work is uncompromising and bold, almost defiant and embodies her strength of personality.
Booshra has said that if she were not an artist she would be an ‘anthropologist-philosopher’, fascinated by the magnetism of the eyes. There is something to be said about the study of the human face at this particular point in time. We are struggling to make meaning out of our lives and struggling to find explanations to haphazard events. To whom do we look? The closest identifier is other humans. We desperately search the faces and gazes of others in order to better understand ourselves. We come to terms with the discrepancy between our physical bodies and our internal mindscapes. The distinction is unsettling, but it is a reality. There is always a part of ourselves striving to make meaning of things. To understand each scar and interpret each line. The inscriptions on the face proffer to reveal something about the subject but remind us of how we are seen in the world. The beauty of the subject can charm and hypnotise, but the truth is in our shared humanness. The Muse inspires the good and a striving for beauty and serenity. We come to realise that this beauty can be hidden in the most subtle of features, in the crevices of the subject and most importantly in the human interaction.