Life | Photographic Paths And Terracotta Tiffins

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Photographic Paths And Terracotta Tiffins
Text by Sitanshi Talati-Parikh
Published: Volume 17, Issue 8, August, 2009

It is inspiring to see young believers who go far from the madding crowd with a desire to express themselves. Sitanshi Talati-Parikh discovers the method to the madness of two such artists

The 21-year-old Bangalore-based artist believes it isn’t age that helps one translate thoughts on life experiences, but rather one’s sensitivity and empathetic nature. Inspired by TS Eliot’s “ability to create allusions which seemed so everlastingly contemporary to all times,” Sohini Chattopadhyay picks up on the thoughtfulness of the subject and creates metaphors on life’s situations using photography as a medium to create digital prints on archival paper. She attempts to “create the drama (or action) of images” – at the same time “generating exaggeration and levels of articulation” in her imagery, often creating a lyrical atmosphere. Perhaps cynicism hasn’t caught up with her, as she says: “The sense of striving for freedom is present in my works because I think there is a backbone of hope prevalent. And this hope is the hope of moving out, breaking paths, creating paths and striving for the goal (freedom).”

Take a peek at Sohini’s photographic imagery in her debut solo show Step In Light at Art Konsult, 23, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi (Tel: 011-26523382) before August 15.


Twenty-five-year-old ‘studio potter’, Rashi Jain puts a clay foot forward

Is ‘Studio Pottery’ a fancy term for a terracotta art?
A ‘studio potter’ is an individual who experiments with different kinds of clay and does not merely produce pots repetitively but also extends the craft to an art form and furthermore; as a medium of expression. Unlike Europe, Japan and China, where the craft has evolved over centuries and been supported by royalty, ceramic art in India is still nascent and tagged as the common man’s matka for drinking water. Pottery has remained a craft form and innovative exploration has been bound by tradition.

Why utensils and crockery?
I see chai wallahs at every corner of a city, rows of dubba wallahs at Andheri station and peanut shells in paper cones lying on the road. The tin kettle, tea glasses and steel tiffin boxes are passive witnesses of lives unravelling, emotions and conversations. Recreating them in clay brings to life the moments that I spend with the objects.

Clay breaks away from the common mould...
Clay as a medium is flexible and allows one to explore the three dimensions thoroughly. It has a dual quality of being brittle as glass and timeless and hard as a fossil. Working with clay involves not only the bodily senses but all the forces of nature (earth, water, fire and wind). Working with one’s hands gives a tremendous feeling of control over one’s creation.

View Feats of Clay, a group show of ceramic artists from across the country at Threshold Art Gallery, F-213/A, Lado Sarai, New Delhi (Tel: 011-41829181, Web: www.gallerythreshold.com). It is on from August 18 to September 15 and includes works by Nehal Rachh, Ela Mukherji and Gopinath, among others.

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