A Dialogue with Soil
I excavate the roots that grew beneath the surface unbeknownst to me. I see them lying with age unattended but the frozen soil significantly indicates the influence of layers of atmospheric process. The chemical reaction in the soil in heat changed the inner story of the Earth. Once a river flew carrying dry leaves, flowers, shells; they are may be rituals, funerary arrangements, jewelry and domestic needs. Buried in the past is the story of our own being. Dig in more to see frozen time that gets awakened in my search, speaks to me silently. Dialogue continues through technical and conceptual expression. Embedded time is discovered– some ask, “do you believe that we are blessed by god?” Some ponder “storm broke me off from my terrain”. Some got buried in natural disaster. See the life cycle of soil, that has breathed through thousands of seasons. Some theories “they are just particles of Nature crystallized in geological cycle”. This is not just an excavation of a material world, it is my root: my being in Nature. Nature’s being in History. It reconnects mankind. Every thought gets embedded in the natural process. It carves out the things that are transparent to see through, translucent to reflect or refract light in nature that falls back on my past and present.
I say, “Frozen in time…
The material is Glass”.
”The history of glass-making dates back to at least 3600 years ago in Mesopotamia. However, some claim they may have been producing copies of glass objects from Egypt. Other archaeological evidence suggests that the first true glass was made in coastal north Syria,Mesopotamia or Egypt. That was mainly glass beads”. (Wikipedia)
Like various materials found in excavation, glass objects were found too; thousands of years ago, humans made Soda -ash glass. Stone-age people must have used naturally formed volcanic obsidian. It is a non-crystalline amorphous solid material. In the course of time, it was manually reformulated by humans in the hot oven/ furnace to develop glass for various needs of many generations. It is known as the sophisticated material of the urban elite. It is an amorphous solid that melts into a liquid and simultaneously solidifies- a cooled state of liquid.
Art in Fire. The entirety of thought that travels through the mind get boiled in fire. The earth’s particles melt into one. It is not just the glass that is moulded to the desired shape but my inner being that gets morphed. It is the creation of a human. I was there to witness it. I am there today as well .I am searching within layers of crystalline and non-crystalline soil to see myself. I do not see any god of magical power, but see the power of nature, nature’s geological phenomena. I talk to them in visual language, performing language while drawing, moulding, fusing glass, casting glass, polishing. Physical activities synchronize with one form in time and
I form them like our excavated past. Every moment gets frozen in time. It becomes the past. I see them as historical metaphors. People call it Art. Art in glass. The art in the material is formed through a molten process but I moulded the process, shaped every movement of its material nature. The red lava came through me; it is that which I fused, that I cast.
“Sand buried parched skull
Exposed by excavation,
Jaw-gaping in silent
Death’s head yawn.
Is eternal sleep so boring?
Or do you scream
down the centuries
“Let me be! ”
Impotent rage, as trowel
Scrapes on bone,
Desecrating thy memory
In pursuit of knowledge.
- Archaeology by Al Drood
Most people make Glass from a mixture of silica, lime, soda, borax etc. Images grow in glass.
I ask: What glass art is it? Mesopotamian? Egyptian? Renaissance? Impressionist? Expressionist? Modern? or Post Modern? Why don’t we treat the material as it behaves in different processes of making? Is use of glass material still conservative in terms of today’s art practice? Does glass have to be polished or look sophisticated in its physical form? Can glass carry contextualized
dialogue in its globally accepted sophisticated nature?
Why should the artist answer! Let me cast myself.
I engage with the wasted objects thrown away by other artists/artisans. They create and break while making. They break their thoughts. I pick up and recreate in remolding.
I use my own pre-used objects. Integrate them. Reignite and recycle to recreate.
Gradually, glass starts holding independent creative ideals. Art in Artists evolves into an interrelationship between material and concept. Glass: a medium which is still uncommon in art fraternity in India, is most dear to me.
It is a tough medium to work with. Some say glass is a quarrelsome wife. Glass: a medium which is brittle, crystalline/non crystalline, fragile, transparent/translucent nevertheless carries my everyday correspondences with nature.