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“The White Rabbit”

an exhibition of ceramics and paintings in Delhi, 26 to 31 Oct. 2009

 


See invitation

See catalogue

 

ADIL WRITER www.adilwriter.com , adil@auroville.org.in

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I am an architect turned potter from Bombay, having my studio in the international community of Auroville in south India where I am a partner at Mandala Pottery, ....working with Anamika, Chinmayi and Krishnamoorthy, all hailing from 3 different countries! We jointly are a production unit, making ceramic ware which is utilitarian as well as decorative. We also undertake large scale ceramic murals and site-specific installations and murals. All 4 of us also do our own niche studio pottery, mine being featured at this show.

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The ceramics on display is mostly wood-fired to 1300 degrees centigrade; some is also gas fired. Some pieces are also anagama fired at Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry for over 60 hours, with temperatures reaching over 1350 degrees centigrade.

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TREASURE BOXES, miniature ceramic objects, strong, compact, quiet, inward-oriented.... they beckon: get close, touch, relate.... a classic case of when a miniscule object seems to expand in importance in inverse proportion to its actual size.

On the other hand, are the chunky, heavy, robust GRINDING WHEELS. This series is inspired by discarded grain-grinders that litter the landscape of south India (and somehow reach Auroville where they get new lives in our landscaped gardens!) These works are indifferent to the symmetrical, classical circle they set out to be.... proclaiming that since everyone already knows what the “correct” circle is, here's the variation, proudly showing off its nicks, chips, bruises, scars, dents, peeling and other forms of attrition that are a testament to the histories of use and misuse, in our case, a chronologue of the making and firing process of simple clay..... which still possesses, on its strong metal base, poise and strength of character.

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Then there are the URNS..... Seeming to say “find me the reason to be” ....whatever function one may give them is irrelevant..... These are wheel-thrown objects, which invite the viewer to open them up and explore. A series of lids take you to the core..... The surfaces are rich in raw texture and rough tactile sensations, crackled or liquid glazes, dry clay slips flashing their raw ingredients which may be impossible to discern.

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The red dot makes a very strong visual statement in my work. I am inspired by street architecture and roadside shrines in India..... where installation art is practiced daily.... and innocuously... by simple people, with faith in their hearts and a light in their eyes..... Add to this my Parsi/Zoroastrian background, where the red “ tilo ” is ever present on special occasions. As Deborah Smith of Golden Bridge Pottery writes, “....drawing the viewer into a centre where all things are purified in the presence of prayer and fire.” As an aesthetic, I use the yellow smear of sandalwood paste, the white lines of Shiva, the red dot of Shakti, the trishul reminding all of the the good that comes out of destruction. World religious iconography has survived millennia.... visual representations and adaptations are a healthy trend, to be pursued, to start dialogues, to invite progressive debate.

 

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