Art, or painting, “Not to render the visible, but to render visible,” says Paul Klee. Art does not produce or reproduce what is visible to the eye, but rather “presents itself before us,” mengetok (being visible), refers to the term by Sudjojono, an Indonesian painter who is famous for his “Jiwa Ketok (Visible Soul)” credo. Art is not to make something visible, or to bring back something that is already visible, but to present (through the medium) an invisible power to us, and ultimately create a new perspective for us. And that's what happened, one of them is in the painting Starry Starry Night by Van Gogh. What is present is not a starry sky at night with dim yellow cafe lights on the side of the road, but through Van Gogh's color, brush strokes, and emotions, there is a kind of hidden power of Van Gogh's night. The power is presented through the light that is so lively and bright, energetic colors. A dark night that manifests in another form, which is different from the nights that people see in general.
The Starry Night painting that unraveled Vindy Ariella's soul into something different. She admitted to being hypnotized. The moment of her encounter with Starry Night made her start to dare to paint. Especially after she knew that Van Gogh's life was dominated by psychological problems that were not easy to live with, hypersensitivity, depression, with a combination of mood swings, and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Starry Night was painted in 1889 from the window of the hospital in Saint Remy, France, in the last days of his life, and since 1941 it has been in the MOMA collection in New York.
Thus, Vindy began to be driven to work, and most of her works were produced when her mood was in the depression pole. When in that situation, her creative energy seems endless. She paints and draws. Her works are expressive and full of meaning. Fear of Hesitation 2014, for example, according to Vindy, one of the founders of Bipolar care Indonesia, “At that time I was having a problem with someone. Something like slander that made me scared, nervous, and paranoid. Depressed too. I poured all the bad feelings onto the canvas. The process, if I remember correctly, took about 2 hours, I felt like I didn't know space and time, just mindfully working. After it's finished, I’d just felt like being 'realized' again and amazed by the result, I also felt really relieved."
“Most of my work is more about self-expression. The intention is to express what I feel and think," she added. This expression is not only present through Vindy's illustrative drawings, but also in her paintings which tend to be abstract. In the drawing, the figures are clearly depicted and their meanings are easy to read, for example, Manic-Depressive describes two phases in a bipolar person's life, No Growth in Comfort Zone, such as a form of self-awareness and overcoming. Sad and Alone, the result of feeling sad to see life. Another drawing, Death Angel, which is also black and white, looks like a patterned piece of batik, and in the middle is the figure of a person whose hand is being touched by an angel. "This told about me who was about to be picked up by an angel," she said. And it was born from feeling suicidal while in a depressive phase. That phase is what Vindy says makes her more productive than the “stable” phase. Suicidal feelings, guilt feelings, feelings of falling, far away, alone, empty, and so on - all of those, for her, are big energies that can push her to work.
Vindy's abstract painting was born from her spontaneous expression. There are spatial effects, overlapping areas, and paint splashes that are full of spontaneity. “I like the process when making splashes, because the results are unpredictable and I learned to be sincere from there. When splashing, there is also a certain satisfaction. It's like there is a release of emotion and energy," she said. Abstract painting, for Vindy, becomes a form of expression that can be achieved in a short time. It's kind of a medium for the explosion of various feelings.
“The principle of my work is that the flow of energy must be completed in one time according to what I feel in my soul. With narrative illustrations on paper, the size fits perfectly with my ability to spend energy to make detailed, neat, and object images. When painting on a large canvas, the concept is the same. Must be finished at one time too. That's why if you paint detailed objects like those on paper, it becomes difficult to control the energy. Abstract is freer and more expressive without making me think about the object, meaning, etc. So, it's perfect for the time when you're in a bad mood, which often has no reason."
In drawing, Vindy's energy flow is slower, because it is not suitable for expressing explosive emotions, while in painting, she is freer and more expressive.
In drawing, Vindy seems to have a figure, a figure who tells a story, in painting, she melts with her own movement and breath.
It is this process of work that seems to attract Vindy, who also admires the works of Yayoi Kusuma and Atreya Moniaga, to be able to exit herself and overcome herself. In the process of working, Vindy can feel her own energy, pressure, tension, tug-of-war, control, when to stop and when to start.
And so, art finally became a way for Vindy, and perhaps, for all of us, to experience, agree, and overcome ourselves.