Indian Ceramics Triennale Returns for Its Second Edition at Arthshila Gallery in New Delhi
“We manifested this,” proclaims Vineet Kacker, an artist and founding member of the Indian Ceramics Triennale. The triennale, which is currently showcasing its second edition in the newly opened Arthshila gallery in Okhla, New Delhi, is a result of the collaboration of six dedicated ceramists. These members, including Anjani Khanna, Madhvi Subrahmanian, Neha Kudchadkar, Reyaz Badaruddin, and Sharbani Das Gupta, have come together to bring their passion for ceramics to life by providing a platform to showcase the art form.
The theme of the triennale, “Common Ground,” brings together over 34 compelling art projects by more than 60 artists from 12 countries. Each artist’s proposal, chosen through an open call, addresses diverse critical issues and perspectives while being bound by clay. The mission is clear: to challenge the conventional perception of ceramics and give it the recognition it deserves.
Khanna shares, “Ceramics have often been linked to functionality and decoration, and not commonly considered as an artistic medium. Bringing about this shift is of utmost importance for us.” The triennale achieves this shift by incorporating a range of artists, from traditional and contemporary practitioners working with ceramics to those engaged in highly multidisciplinary practices involving performance, sound, and even Virtual Reality (VR), firmly grounded in the realm of ceramics.
The triennale thoroughly explores the theme of tradition, often confined to functionality, through multiple presentations. One of the showcases features national award-winning artist Om Prakash Galav, who explores the abstract concept of Shunya (the state of nothingness) through contemporary terracotta creations. Another exhibit presents ancient Kutch pottery and painting reinvented to mirror everyday life, and vibrancy of indigenous life finds expression in ceramic pots crafted by Australian aboriginal artists.
The triennale has harnessed the power of cross-cultural collaborations to unlock individual potential and creative energies. This collaborative approach emphasizes the importance of embracing the handmade as India navigates its transition into a digital ecosystem. The triennale also invites dialogue and practice through public talks, workshops, and walkthroughs, aiming to educate and inspire audiences.
As the Indian Ceramics Triennale continues, it celebrates the critical recognition that Indian ceramicists have received globally. The commitment to selecting artists through an open call has unveiled the depth and diversity of practices artists are engaged in, bringing forth a rich and nuanced exploration of the art form.
The Indian Ceramics Triennale is on from January 19 to March 31.
The culture writer and editor specialises in reporting on art, design, and architecture.