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A Dialogue with Soil

I excavate the roots that grow beneath the surface unbeknownst to me. I see them aged and unattended but the frozen soil significantly indicates the influence of layers of atmospheric process. The chemical reaction in the soil due to heat over period of time changed the inner story of the Earth. A river once flowed carrying dry leaves, flowers, and shells – remnants of rituals, funerary arrangements, jewelry and domestic needs. Buried in the past is the story of our own being. As I dig more, the frozen time that gets awakened in my search, speaks to me silently. The dialogue continues through technical and conceptual expression. I discover the embedded time. Some ask, “Do you believe that we are blessed by God?” Some ponder if the storm broke them off from the terrain.  I infer that some got buried due to natural disasters. One must examine the life cycle of a soil that has breathed through thousands of seasons. Some theorize if they were just particles of Nature crystallized in the geological cycle. To me this inquiry is not just an excavation of a material world; it is an excavation of my roots; my very 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 for us to see through, those that are translucent to reflect or refract light in nature that throw light 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 during excavation, glass objects too were found thousands of years ago. Humans made Soda-ash glass. Stone-age people must have used naturally formed volcanic obsidian which is a non-crystalline amorphous solid material. In the course of time, it was manually reformulated by humans in a hot oven/furnace to develop glass for the various needs of the many generations that followed. Glass 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 one’s mind gets boiled in fire. The earth’s particles melt into one. It is not just the glass that is moulded to the desired shape but it’s my inner being that gets morphed. It is the creation of a human being. 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 the magical hand of God but I see the power of nature and nature’s geological phenomena. I talk to them in a visual language and in a performing language while drawing, moulding, fusing, casting and polishing glass. Physical activities synchronize with the form in time and space.

Every moment of the excavated past gets frozen in time in my forms. It now 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 it was I who 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 myself what kind of 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 the use of glass as a material still conservative in today’s art practice? Does the 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 them up and recreate in remolding.

I use my own pre-used objects. I integrate, reignite and recycle to recreate.

Gradually, glass starts holding independent creative ideals. Art in Artists evolves into an inter-relationship 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.

Sisir Sahana

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A Dialogue with Soil

Forum Art Gallery presents
'A Dialogue with Soil'
Sculptures in Glass
by
SISIR SAHANA
On view from
8th February – 7th March, 2020
Monday to Saturday
10:30 am to 6:30 pm