A garden...a small child...and clay. My mother remembers my frocks eternally stained with smudges of clay.
Then came Madras,and Kalakshetra.
I was there to learn Dance,and much as I loved it, I found my attention constantly drawn to the painting class next door. Finally,I had to make a choice.
I chose painting.My teacher,Sreenivasulu,gave me basic art training,including minature paintings, and South Indian traditional painting.
While immersed in drawing classes and competitions,I began to experiment with sculpture.Three years later,after graduation in '86,I returned to Kalakshetra. My path was clearer now.Sreenivasalu introduced me to Kalasagaram Rajagopal. A regime of rigorous training in sculpture began at this point.
Bronze...the sight of molten metal being poured into moulds...taking form,shape,life. Images that served to show me that,for me, the exhilaration, the passion lay in the sheer process of sculpting. I was using clay,armatures and tools, various techniques of portrayal,laborious moulding and casting procedures for plaster, wax and bronze to create likenesses of life around me.
In-depth study of anatomical details, using high sophistication in creating forms, and various finishing touches were leading me to create works reminiscent of Michelangelo, Rodin, D.P.Roy Chowdhury or Kalasagaram Rajagopal.
Sturdy sculptures with artistic statements made upon the surface... the bronze shell barely a centimeter thick. Within this structure is nothing but a hollow core.
I began to feel questions.
Is there an allegory here somewhere? And even if there was,should that matter at all?
Suddenly, in late 1995,I found myself without a studio. What could have become an artist's nightmare transformed into a cleansing, free-ing experience because I felt the benevolence of understanding. The dance and play of lines in my non-premeditated drawings were my inspiration. I expressed myself through the local clay in a simple,primitive,feminine manner. I re-equipped my studio within a year.My works then resembled and revealed their true forms,frontal yet spatial. They, like me, were receptacles seeking the light,protected and loved like a devotee in the form of a child, a beloved or a servant.
To seek and be granted, to yearn for and to possess...the negative and positive spaces, in depths and reliefs are like the spiraling spaces within and without a conch that reveals timeless conciousness to our senses. I aim to balance these using the rhythmic line as a link to create spatial sculptures. Sans decoration, these sculptures are Indian in their austere simplicity, substance and poise, and express a deep reverence for life.
The age-old humble clay,inviting my fingers to fashion it the way my grandmother had once fashioned her stove,also opened the avenues to my spiritual and ecological concerns.
If the earth, as a gross entity in a Spritual sense, is treated as subtle and sacred, then I believe we will all live in a natural sanctuary, free of violence and indifference.
With indiscriminate use and disposal of plastics and chemicals, will earth, as represented by clay, further lose its value?
If, some ten generations later, a little girl looks at her hands and feels the tug and pull of creativity surge within her, will she find the raw material her soul seeks?