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Frozen in time

Published Oct 13, 2019, 12:04 am IST
Updated Oct 13, 2019, 12:04 am IST
When working with other materials, one can think of the concept first and work accordingly.
Sisir Sahana
 Sisir Sahana

As a day passes, it becomes an integral part of history, sometimes buried in the soil for thousands of years only to be brought alive when excavated. Bringing alive such a concept of a conversation with soil, unearthing the lives stuck in the time warp like an earthworm or a fossil flower is Old Seeds, an exhibition of glass sculptures by artist Sisir Sahana held at Kalakriti Art Gallery.

Kalakriti Art Gallery recently organised an exhibition called Old Seed which showcased glass sculptures by artist Sisir Sahana, an erstwhile resident of the city.


Elaborating about the works on display, the artist who started his painting career in Hyderabad and is now a part of the faculty at Santiniketan, Bolpur in West Bengal, says, “Being an artist, it is important how one includes aesthetics into glass sculptures and make it unique, but working with glass as a medium is a completely different task altogether. When working with other materials, one can think of the concept first and work accordingly, but glass is a medium that demands more attention than concept.

Flowing with the glass
The glass sculptures on display were produced during a residency programme in Pittsburgh Glass Center, United States, early this year. And all the displayed sculptures have archaeological aspects to it, inspired from various artefacts. Not only do they vary in shapes and figures and techniques used, they also vary in how they are moulded into a single artwork. The sculptures vary from 1 glass structure to 12 glass forms stuck together to create one artwork. However, the sculptures, which were made in the US, were finished at Santiniketan, taking a total of around six months to their finality.

“The residency programme helped me use my creativity to the fullest. In India, it won’t have been possible because of the lacking infrastructure for making glass sculptures. For one, the temperature, casting, etc. need to be on point, or else the glass figurines may crack. Similarly, not all glass colours go with all sorts of glass, so one needs precision and accurate knowledge about the medium,” elaborates Sisir.

Back to the earth
Artistry aside, it’s been close to seven years since Sisir moved from Hyderabad to West Bengal as a professor of ceramic and glass technology at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan, intending to completely dedicate his life to students and the institution.

“For inspiration, I’ve visited many places, including villages in Andhra Pradesh, where I took photos of dilapidated houses. I might have worked in the US, but my concept and inspiration belong to India. As regards my sculptures, my only motive is to make people see through the glass sculptures and have a sneak peek into their past through multiple layers-as if they’re seeing their past through the soil, considering the composition of both soil and glass is similar,” says Sisir as he signs off.