Traditional potters must embrace universal craft language: Ceramic artist

Traditional potters must embrace universal craft language: Ceramic artist
Highlights

A traditional potter who is able to accept the modern, will embrace a universal language and also get a better market for himherself, believes Abhay Pandit, ceramic artist and son of 2013 Padma Shri recipient and studio potter BR Pandit The fatherson duo is exhibiting 170 ceramic pieces here starting Friday

A traditional potter who is able to accept the modern, will embrace a universal language and also get a better market for him/herself, believes Abhay Pandit, ceramic artist and son of 2013 Padma Shri recipient and studio potter B.R. Pandit. The father-son duo is exhibiting 170 ceramic pieces here starting Friday.

Titled "The Shape of Things", the exhibition at Art Heritage Gallery (in Triveni Kala Sangam premises), has on display the artists' ceramic works, ranging from "traditional forms to abstract sculpture".

Instead of terracotta, largely a traditional medium, the duo, like most studio potters, work in stoneware and porcelain. In addition to the medium, their shapes and forms are far from the traditional, utilitarian ones and often touch the sculptural.

Abhay Pandit, who is a former student of J.J. School of Art, told IANS on the sidelines of the show that he has seen his father's art practice since and says his "traditional ways are in-built into him".

The ceramic artist, who, along with his father, shifts between traditional and modern forms of ceramics, gives a call to the traditional potters to "retain their identity, culture and flavour".

However, in the same breath, the 40-year-old also argues that if the traditional is "modernised and twisted, then people do start buying, and the works find a universal language".

"India is a living museum of traditional potters, there are millions of them. A traditional potter who is able to accept and embrace the modern will get better monetary value too. This is an internal change that must be realised by the individual potters," he said.

Pointing to his father's flat ceramic works, Abhay Pandit says they are "clay canvasses" not platters, despite being round, since the texture and colours are rich and cannot be repeated -- rendering them qualities of works of art.

"The shape is utilitarian but the moment one sees the rich glazing, one says that s/he won't use it, but will keep as work of art," he says.

The exhibition displays a vivid and varied collection of works by Abhay and B.R. Pandit, with the shapes of the works revealing volumes about the changing Indian ceramic world.

"The Shape of Things" is open for public viewing till December 31. Entry is free.

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