Jawahar Kala Kendra in collaboration with the Contemporary Clay Foundation presents the first Indian Ceramics Triennale: Breaking Ground , from 31 August to 18 November, 2018. This first ever international ceramics event to be held at the Jawahar Kala Kendra will present 35 Indian and 12 international artist projects, 10 collaborations, 12 speakers, a symposium, film screenings and workshops for adults and children. Breaking Ground has developed and grown under the advice and experience of Peter Nagy (Director, Nature Morte gallery), Ray Meeker (Co-Founder, Golden Bridge Pottery, Pondicherry, renowned artist and educator) and Pooja Sood (Director General, Jawahar Kala Kendra).
"Jawahar Kala Kendra is excited to be pioneering India's first ever Ceramics Triennale. From a historical perspective, there has been a major turn in the field of ceramics worldwide. In a country like India where ceramics and clay have always been considered as artisanal craft, the Ceramics Triennale will increase visibility and allow ceramics to be appreciated as an art form in its own right" says Pooja Sood, Director General - Jawahar Kala Kendra.
Breaking Ground, t he first iteration of the Indian Ceramics Triennale has been conceived and driven by a six-member core team of mid-career ceramic artists including Anjani Khanna, Madhvi Subrahmanian, Neha Kudchadkar, Reyaz Badaruddin, Sharbani Das Gupta, and Vineet Kacker. They are supported by Exhibition Coordinator Kanika Anand and Outreach Coordinator Sangeeta Kapila.
Anjani Khanna, Director, Contemporary Clay Foundation and a member of the Curatorial Team says, “ We seek to broaden the horizon of the medium of clay. The Ceramics Triennale, aims to showcase alternative, experimental and experiential uses of ceramics within and beyond the boundaries of the traditional gallery. You see this in the artworks of both Indian and international artists like Shampa Shah from India and Ingrid Murphy from the UK, for instance. ”
There has been a huge expansion in ceramic art in India and abroad and the idea of representing ceramics in a broader contemporary context has become imperative to express the versatility of a medium in which many artists work. The projects in the Triennale explore themes of scale, site specificity and/or concept through installation, interaction, technology and performance.
Ray Meeker, Co- Founder, Golden Bridge Pottery says , “For over a decade Indian ceramic artists have been breaking ground around the world—China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Spain, the UK and USA. It's high time to break a bit of ground at home”.
Peter Nagy says , “Long relegated to the status of second-class citizen in the world of art, in the 21st Century ceramics have taken on a renewed urgency and relevance in international contemporary artistic practice. Primordial and ubiquitous, earth, dirt and clay speak to the very core of our beings and can spark our most fundamental creative energies. The Indian Ceramics Triennale will highlight the finest practitioners of experimental ceramics working today, those who are expanding our conceptions of an ancient medium claiming its place in the future”.
The Indian artists were selected through a nationwide open call and foreign artists through invitation. Stalwarts like P Daroz and Ray Meeker, along with a diverse group of both emerging or mid-career Indian artists have taken advantage of the unique spatial possibilities offered by the Jawahar Kala Kendra to produce an array of stimulating, thought-provoking works.
The 12 international artists are established, highly respected practitioners and include British artist Kate Malone, co-presenter of the BBC’s popular Great Pottery Throwdown, who will set up studio at JKK with her studio team for over a week. Other international artists include Korean artist Juree Kim, former artist in residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum and an exhibitor at the British Ceramics Biennial, internationally recognized Japanese artist Hoshino Saturo and Ester Beck from Israel who will exhibit a performance-based work. Jane Perryman from the UK will present a collaborative project of ceramic and sound while Jacques Kaufmann, the president of the UNESCO affiliated International Academy of Ceramics will create an architecturally scaled work. Jessika Edgar of the US and Danijela Pivašević-Tenner of Germany are also among the invited foreign artists.
Twelve Indian and international speakers will address groundbreaking developments in ceramic art practice, looking at its interface with technology, design and the socio-political fabric during the symposium on 1-2 September 2018. Rajeev Sethi, Director, Asian Heritage Foundation and design master, who curated the largest Indian ceramics installation at the Hyatt hotel, Chennai, Abhay Sardesai, Editor, Art India magazine, Nancy Adajania, art critic and writer, as well as artists Kate Malone and Ingrid Murphy are all scheduled participants. Building with Fire , a book by Ray Meeker on his experiments with fired houses will also be released at the Triennale.
To bring ceramic art and the magic of clay to wider audiences, JKK have partnered with the Akshara Foundation of Arts and Learning, a not-for-profit public trust that aims to integrate arts and education. The schools outreach programme: Arts for All at Breaking Ground envisages a series of artist run workshops with underprivileged and under-serviced children from local schools. AFAL will also invite children from the local schools to visit the exhibition and express their creativity in the Clay Room where they can work hands-on with clay . A number of Master Classes for adults with leading ceramic artists are also planned.
A collaboration with the British Ceramics Biennial has been set up to develop a continuing reciprocal arrangement between British and Indian ceramic artists. Kristine Michael in collaboration with the Delhi Art Gallery, will curate a concurrent exhibition of works by the late Kripal Singh Shekawat, the artist behind the revival of Jaipur Blue pottery. A studio and volunteering program with students from The Indian Institute of Craft and Design, Jaipur is also in place.
Breaking Ground promises to be an exciting event that sets the ground for a continuing three-year cycle of art shows that celebrate the vast possibilities of the medium of clay.