Monday, 23 October 2017

Ceramic is sculpting tool for Indian artist

Ceramic is becoming a tool for abstract sculptures, says veteran Indian ceramic sculptor P.R. Daroz whose latest works seek to portray sea bed compositions and ruins of lost cities.

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) Ceramic is becoming a tool for abstract sculptures, says veteran Indian ceramic sculptor P.R. Daroz whose latest works seek to portray sea bed compositions and ruins of lost cities.

'The use of ceramics has changed over the years. It began as a potter's tool centuries ago when clay craftsmen used wet earth to fire glazed pottery in slow fires. Now, the clay is fired in high temperature at more than 1,300 degrees Celsius and treated with chemicals and pigments to make abstract and impressionistic solid art. Pottery is no longer functional, it is high art,' Daroz told IANS.

 

Daroz is now exhibiting a new body of over 50 ceramic sculptures in the capital as part of its Commonwealth Games 2010 art package. The exhibits are on display at Art Alive Gallery till Sep 30.

 

The exposition 'I am Clay', as the artist says, 'is a journey of self-discovery to unearth new metaphors for the potter, who has been dabbling in clay for the last 40 years'.

 

The sculptures, mostly sea bed compositions and ruins of lost cities, are a motley of psychedelic shapes in morphing shades of white, brown, blue, green, red and orange that rise, fall and merge into each other on small rectangular surfaces and tall vertical pillar-like columns.

 

They resemble complex geological maps with serrated contours, ridges, flats and rainbow water marks.

 

'They are sea bed forms because they depict patterns formed on the surface of the sea floor by the relentless lashing of waves and several other natural phenomenon. The colour palette is watery and obscure because they represent the natural imprints left by fossils of ancient vegetation, corals, sea creatures and organic substances on the sea rocks,' the sculptor said.

 

It took Daroz eight years to sculpt his collection of sea bed art and the impressionistic maps of archaeological ruins.

 

'The sculptures were inspired by my growth as an artist. As my thoughts matured, so did my art. I began 40 years ago, crafting traditional pots and figurative sculptures with red potter's clay. The medium was basic. I moved to ceramics and porcelain - clay baked in high heat - later,' he said.

 

Daroz, an accomplished muralist, is currently working on another series of sea bed sculptures. 'They are large format works,' he said.

 

Born in Hyderabad in 1944, Daroz trained at the College of Fine Art and Architecture in Hyderabad and at M S University in Baroda. He has exhibited extensively both in India and abroad.

 

'Ceramic is an engrossing medium. It taxes the artist as it involves mastery over material, physical labour, creativity and deft strokes,' he said.

 

The story of clay, terracotta and ceramics - rooted in river clay - goes back a long way to the Indus Valley civilisation 5,000 years ago in the country. Artisans crafted terracotta dolls, toys, jewellery and even seals in Harappan cities like Lothal and Mohenjodaro.

 

Terracotta - another variation of clay craft - first appeared in Bengal in 1,500 BC. In the alluvial tracts of riverine Bengal, inhabitants of ancient settlements like Chandraketugarh, Tamralipti and Harinarayanpur baked earth in low to medium heat to make pots, beads, seals, vessels, sculptures of deities, homes and shrines.

 

Porcelain and blue pottery, which originated in China, came to India in the 14th century with invaders from central Asia.

 

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at madhu.c@ians.in)