Posted on: April 1, 2009


courtest jamal ashiqain

Thou art yet region-bound, Transcend the limits of space,

Transcend the narrow climes of the East and the West.

Translation of Iqbal’s work.


Art is an idiosyncratic prism which translates the unspeakable and the sublime, reflecting the human complicity within nature. Our acts embody nature and art commemorates nature.  It helps us in recounting our emotional ideas fabricated from sorrows rooted in decay and joys springing from growth.

Our over-scheduled daily lives are often little reflected upon. Activities are quickly endured so that the next endeavor can take its place. Initially, the objects that engage our passions may be carefully chosen but the senses are soon desensitized and life becomes more of a sporadic punctuation, instigated by transitional births or deaths.

Sadia Salim a ceramicist feels that although objects are mere commodities, yet are bound in rituals and relationships, ideas and emotion. The physically usable objects have the potential to re-energize our senses and our behaviors. These objects are compelling enough to inspire imaginative use, succeeding in transforming mundane materials and behaviors into celebratory experiences which she creatively transforms into pottery.

Koel art Gallery on the 19th of March opened its doors to an exciting art exhibition showcasing some of the intriguing forms in ceramic derived right out of disposable by Sadia Salim.

Her exhibition titled ‘transience’ focuses on how sometimes objects function too easily. They merely comfort us and thus fall away from our attention no longer noticing their presence or use. She decided to make use of those occasional cracked bowls, tins and cups to differ our normal assumptions.

One of the instillation made in 2008 investigates the same impermanence of life through everyday disposable objects. “These objects were used by me in one way or another mostly for food and were to be thrown away after a brief and intimate contact. However, I retained them for further usage and then decided to make moulds out of these for my work. The casts were resembled to make contemplative 3-D forms and installations.”

A huge instillation titled “the city… its chaos influencing mind, body and soul desire to find peace wishing away reality” engulfs almost the entire front portion of the gallery. It was done in 2005 based on the symmetry of Mughal Gardens of the subcontinent known as the “Chahar Bagh”, symbolizing pleasure, peace, quite and calm place/state of mind to get away from the chaotic city life. The titled bowls in different directions and changing colours further enhance the garden symmetry. 

Some of Salim’s works deliberately left untitled in an attempt to remove the nature and objects from their traditional role, vessels used as metaphor for humans, the inner surfaces of the pots contrasting the outer surfaces commenting on the duality in character of people makes the viewer respond more critically.

Other works of her included vessels glazed by the anagama technique learned at a residency in Japan and ‘crowd’ where she has bottles cut is halves and put together resembling a crowd.

Although art is usually a foray into museums and institutions rather than being an integral facet of daily lives, there is now more awareness, availability and practice of studio ceramics which is also becoming an integral decorating element for either limited domestic spaces or architectural purposes.


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April 2009



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