Where the human language falls short in communicating a higher idea, ceramic art can present a canvas to express it with eloquence, said Aurovilian ceramic artist Rakhee Kane.
The artist is showcasing some of her recent ceramic works based on the motifs of seed pods and totems at the Centre d’Art Gallery, Citadines in Auroville, at the “Within/Without” exhibition. It is on till February 11.
The seed pod has, for long, been a source of fascination, she said. “Seed pods hold an entire universe within them.....; I see them as containers of diverse forms of life,” said the artist, who has established the Aavartan Studio in Auroville.
This concept leads on to the Chinese Taoist philosopher Lao-Tzu’s observation on nihility or nothingness — in essence it is in the emptiness of the earthen pot that its usefulness as a container for holding water is derived, she said. The totem motif, too, ties in with this phase of the artist’s journey. “In tribal cultures across the world, including ancient India, totem poles were a kind of open shrines or reference points where people paused for a moment to perhaps centre themselves.”
“The totem poles depict various points of my journey; each a place to hold and centre oneself. They act as anchors that, once thrown, allow me to float on these moments. The show is my pause point of reference, a place to which my life has brought me, finally! It is also an offering to my mentors, my teachers, and my inspirations,” she said.
“Sharing this series is my way of taking a pause and evaluating my own journey, allowing myself to touch the core of my experience,” said Rakhee Kane, whose tutelage under the pioneer Ray Meeker, at the Golden Bridge Pottery, in 2005 helped chart a much-needed direction in her work and expanded her artistic vision.
In drawing motifs from nature, Rakhee Kane’s work utilises a variety of techniques — firing with soda, wood or Raku — and is in constant engagement with a spirit of experimentation.
The embellishments on each form are enhanced by means of soda firing, cone five terracotta and stoneware. Totem objects and seed pods are, in a way, connected concepts. “Pods being containers of life and the linear totems a reference point to them, complete the idea of the man-made and nature,” Rakhee Kane said.
Lately, the artist has been working on developing new forms that reflect the inner search for a perfect form. “Your inner transformation intersects with your art and reshapes the way you approach it,” she said.
Along this journey, she finds every day objects unlocking their magic in different ways to inspire newer interpretations.
“Clay is an incredibly receptive material. Working with a lump of clay makes one grounded. It is a calming influence at a subconscious level and opens up a connection with one’s spiritual side,” she said.