Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 670 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery, world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
This month, New Delhi’s Palette Art Gallery is hosting the artworks of sculptor Rajesh Ram. His sculptures and installations are exhibited across India, the UK, the US, Austria, Dubai, and Hong Kong.
The exhibition is aptly titled Carving Time and features over 40 installations. Rajesh’s fascinating artworks reinterpret and fuse culture, history, religion, architecture, anatomy, and zoology.
“Art is a journey. For me, art travels through time, so I make art according to time,” Rajesh Ram explains in a chat with YourStory. “Art is like a mirror of society and politics, so I create a mirror as an art piece through my practice,” he adds.
Rajesh started his creative journey with Indian traditional art forms. “Later, I modified my style into concept-based ideas blended with realism,” he recalls.
His artworks, some of which are showcased in this photo essay, are titled Spacecraft, Luca, Human Roots, Space Solid, Deep Space, Stories from Walls, Big Head, Half-head, Beard Head, Homo Sapiens, Melting Backbone, and Hard Shell. Some artworks are priced from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 7 lakh.
The hybrid and surreal sculptures make viewers pause and reflect not just on the artist’s creativity and multidisciplinary skills but also on the connections between human perceptions of power, nature, tradition, power, and even sexuality.
They convey a sense of play, freedom, and provocation and make viewers reflect on the interconnectedness of existence. The superb gallery lighting also brings out the finer details of the artist’s imaginative works.
Rajesh has also experimented with different types of mediums in his journey. “My favourite material is clay, with which I create forms that I can later convert into other mediums as well,” he describes,
His work is experimental in nature. “An artist starts with basic ideas and concepts. But while experimenting with new materials, the final result of the making process is always unknown to the artist. Every art piece creates the next steps towards future artworks,” he explains.
Rajesh’s earlier works were in bronze, metal, stone, and iron. “For this solo exhibition, I worked with sensitive, as well as strong materials like ceramic stoneware,” he says.
He believes artworks are also contextual and reflect the times. “Trends in art happen according to the demands of time, political needs, and social causes. As an artist, I believe we are very sensitive towards social movements,” he adds.
“When a group of artists think and work on a single concept or thought, then the style begins. We call the process trends,” Rajesh describes.
The current exhibition took him over two years to conceptualise and put together. “Because of the pandemic lockdown, I could not access my studio properly. Being a sculptor, I could not get a helping hand from casters and other assistants,” he recalls.
He had to do most of the production work himself. “The pandemic crisis pushed me to choose a material like a stoneware ceramic, which also went very well with my concept of the show. The material nicely depicted a historical touch to my works of art,” Rajesh describes.
He says he is satisfied with the audience responses to his exhibition. “I got critically good words from art writers, artists and the creative community,” Rajesh adds.
He sees success through the steps of his journey, such as his first solo show and subsequent displays at Saatchi Gallery in London.
“Success in the art field is a process of growing. It has no limitations, but sometimes the journey pauses or even breaks,” he describes.
“For me, success is a good working platform, or opportunities to showcase my work,” Rajesh signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to apply your creativity?
(All photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the gallery.)
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Edited by Suman Singh