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“STONEWARE”

is inspired by pillars, posts, temple walls, graffiti,

weathered lines on rolling stones…and faith. Daily doses of faith in

South India , where one sees how a simple stone lying by the road

suddenly attracts someone's eye;

…a person leaves some flowers upon it;

…another decorates it with red tikka (dots);

…along comes someone else who drapes the pillar with a simple cloth;

…the foreground is weeded out, fresh cowdung is smeared to form a suitable floor;

…add a banana to hold a lit incense stick, smear the backing wall with turmeric paste, polka-dot this too with fresh red kumkum paste;

…the revered oil lamp now makes its appearance and completes the tableau.

Photo by IrenoDaily mechanical rituals…meaning so much to some, unnoticed by others. Rituals evoking emotions and images. Some swear you can hear and perhaps smell what they bring leaping to your mind. And soon the humble stone has grown into a temple. The temple becomes a mosque, the mosque becomes a church, the church becomes a temple. It's the cycle of history, the circle of life…and death, and reincarnation and faith, politics and per-capita income.

Welcome to Indiaaah !!!

This leg of my journey began in 2001 on a trip to visit temples and terracotta shrines with Deborah Smith of Golden Bridge Pottery, Pondicherry , and English clay artist Sandy Brown, who had just conducted a workshop at GBP.

 

Photo by IrenoI photographed a seemingly innocuous image of a temple wall covered with a zillion trishul (Shiva's mythological trident/weapon, a symbol of faith and protection in India ), and that image has stayed with me ever since. Somewhere along the way, it also spun around into the universal symbol of peace, got graffitied (?) onto my pillar rocks, and essentially took over the being…reminding me of moments when you are trying to fall asleep and just cannot switch off !

 

 

 

 

As I work with this ritualistic agenda, scribbles, graffiti, thoughts and “moods of the day” find their way onto stony clay surfaces. Text often appears in the form of psychedelic lyrics…Floyd, Bono, Cohen…or sublime lines from Sri Aurobindo's “Savitri”, “The Hour of God” or “Essays on the Gita”…sometimes clear and legible; oft, just a memory from the windmills of my mind.

And if you listen very hard

The tune will come to you at last,

When all are one and one is all;

To be a rock and not to roll.

And…buying the stairway to heaven.

………………………………………………………………………………..

see also:

Rock The House, an article by Julietta

Ray Meeker article, sept. 5, 2005

 

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