Archive for October, 2010
October 30th, 2010
ahmdeabad international arts fextival
Well – the work got fired, presented, discussed, published, screened, etc. as part of the AIAF 2010. We had a great show at Arts Reverie with the work that Amanda, myself, Steve and Jason had produced alongside the work by the children of Dahl ni Pol. The press were really keen on the project, and lots of visitors enjoyed the show.
Here are a few images to let you see;
October 21st, 2010
return to ceramic heaven
Steve and I are going to briefly talk about our ‘pairing’ / collaboration with Amanda out here in Ahmedabad – and give a small insight into some of the work we’ve been doing here, as part of the Pairings Symposium at MMU (UK) tomorrow, Friday 22nd October. . A daunting prospect given that none of us have actually finished anything just yet!!
We hope too that the technology doesn’t let us down and Skype helps us to communicate clearly, without delays, from India to Special Collections…
So I returned to Laxmi, and fired all of the cups decorated by the children in the Pol, which were amazing… Watching as they were fed into the mouth of the furnace, I felt anxious, scared that something may go wrong, worried about how the pieces seemed to be precariously balanced on top of one another, wondering again what is it that drew me to work in this way…
Whilst waiting for the kiln to work it’s magic, we chatted with Deepak about all manner of subjects from the differences in ceramic materials used by different religious groups in India to telepathy, but my mind was constantly returning to the kiln, and thoughts of the kids faces if something went wrong…
And, telepathically or not, I asked if I could check on the kiln and the pieces had just started to re appear on the chainmail belt, shiny, glistening and renewed…
And so, with cups packed beautifully, and armed with yet more pieces to decorate, we returned to Arts Reverie once more, with just a small delay caused by an altercation with some striking rickshaw drivers…
October 15th, 2010
I was aiming to get an early night as I’m running some ceramics workshops tomorrow here in the Pol, but the music from the loudspeakers for the Navrati festivities and dancing appear to be actually inside our haveli they are so loud!! So I’m wondering, should I try and sleep or go out dancing???
Average finish time for Navrati Garba dancing here? 4am.
Workshop start time? 9am.
October 14th, 2010
sounds from the other city
I am referring to the great music festival that happens in Salford, UK, each year – sounds from the other city – and I hope that no-one minds me using this term, but it seems so appropriate for the collaboration between myself and Jason Singh. “Born in London, Jason currently lives in Manchester, UK, but works across the UK and abroad. He is a producer, beatboxer, dj, experimental percussionist, workshop facilitator, composer, sound artist and visual artist.”
I’m gathering sounds in much the same way as I gather pattern normally, and sending them to Jason whilst I’m here in Ahmedabad – neither of us are quite sure where/how this will turn out – the plan is to have a track finished in time for the AIAF in a few weeks. I’m excited to find out how it develops…
I wanted to upload some recordings from today, but am having technical hitches – any advice on uploading sound to blogger gratefully received!!
October 13th, 2010
My focus within the Pol Project is Chai (tea) and today we got to try some from the local chai seller – which was very good, and tasted even better when he was so very smiley!! We hope he will temporarily relocate his stall for our event on Saturday!
More from Chai Patterns on flickr…
Thanks to Amanda for taking these pics!
October 12th, 2010
dancing in the streets – again!
Today after meeting many of the wonderful people in the pol with Palak,
we were invited to the Navrati dancing at 11pm in a square within the Pol. Of course we gladly accepted, and we tried to join in as best we could,
though we are all in need of some dancing lessons Ahmedabad style…
Fun was definitely had by all – probably mostly by the locals laughing at our bad attempts at their beautiful dancing!!
More on dancing on the street on flickr…
October 11th, 2010
Finding somewhere to fire the ceramic pieces I wanted to produce was always a bit of a concern. A priority for me. After meeting Mayur, he very kindly brought us to Laxmi to meet Deepak Tahilani, and see the ceramic production set up there in Memco – about 25 minutes in the car from Dahl ni Pol.
Perfect for my way of working, there is a tunnel kiln firing tea cups and saucers in their hundreds every day, and the firing cycle takes around an hour – amazing!
Transfers are printed upstairs, then covercoated and dried in beautiful stacking racks.
Downstairs, pieces are decorated with transfers and painted lines, …
…before being packed into wire baskets and stacked ready for firing.
After processing through the tunnel kiln (note the tiles with gods at the entrance to the kiln), they are then returned to the packing room, …
…where they are checked…
…and packed ready for distribution.
Deepak was so accommodating and was very supportive of the project and idea of running a workshop with families in Dahl ni Pol, he gave us 3 boxes of cups and saucers and the promise to send 2 of the decorating ladies (one transfer, one line drawing) to work with us on Sunday.
All in all a very good day!!!
More images from ceramic heaven on flickr…
October 10th, 2010
Waking up at 6.45am for the flea market, it was a little disappointing to discover that it wasn’t actually on due to the local elections! But worth getting up that early to experience the city in a calmer, cooler state.
The Sabarmati River which marks the dividing point between the old city and the new city is also the point where you see the new vision for the city taking shape. A stark contrast between calm still water reflecting the future of the city, and the industrious sorting of discarded materials across the bank in order to earn a living.
“The project envisages comprehensive development of both the banks of Sabarmati river. At present, the riverfront lies neglected and characterised by unimaginative and unplanned development. Though it is a major source of water for the city, except for a few months during the monsoon, the river is dry.
Sewage contaminated storm water outfalls and the dumping of industrial waste pose a major health and environmental hazard. Though the riverbanks provides a place to stay and source of livelihood to many economicallybackward citizens, the riverbank slums are disastrously flood prone and lack basic infrastructure services.”
The Times of India Sabarmati river-front project launched in A’bad, TNN, Apr 14, 2003
This cart reminded me of the gypsy weddings in Ireland, and with the murals on gable ends, somehow I was transported to Belfast…
Flags fluttering in the wind, kids laughing out loud with buckets on their heads and playing games in the heat of the sun reminded me of the community, the reasons for being here, and the work ahead…
There are so many more photos from today on flickr…
October 10th, 2010
supplies and ghost dancing
Saturday was a more productive day, with supplies of cutting mat, paper, pens for myself and supplies for workshops with children all purchased in a well stocked, cheaply priced art shop across town. Steve also managed to order his print proofs for his flag project.
Lokesh found this bag for me – connecting directly to my ‘chai’ project. The imagery has a beautiful quality, printed simply in black on brown paper it is the beginnings of something I am thinking – silhouettes and imagery of tea drinkers?
Waiting for Steve and Lokesh outside a tool shop, I met a rubber stamp maker, which has set my mind off on another tangent. Paper cuts and stamps, woodblock prints and tea cups – how do these things join, meet, intertwine? I’m painfully aware of time here, and it’s running away from me every minute – how do I create something of value in an environment which is so rich already?
Lokesh also arranged for us to meet Mayur Lekhadia to see if he could fire the tea cups I want to decorate with the community in the Pol. He introduced us to his chosen method of transferring imagery onto ceramics – sublimation printing – which involved using a ‘hacked‘ printer to print with ceramic inks, and then a compact heating unit which was shaped to fit a standard mug, simply taping the image to the cup and heating to 200 degrees sealed the image in (seemingly permanently). A fast process and high quality finish on the piece, but immediate application to my own work is limited due to the shape and scale of the compact heating unit. Great potential for investigation though!
At this point I should really explain a few things – Lokesh is helping and supporting our (Amanda, Steve and I) separate and collaborative projects within the overall ‘the pol project‘. We are writing a blog for the project, and you can read all of our posts on there, some of mine may be repeated from here, some may be duplicated, all are in development!!
We rushed off to meet Marie Alamir and Mali Genest for dinner at mirch masala – the best food I’ve had in Ahmedabad!! Great choices by Lokesh, and we also got to see a catalogue of the beautiful work of Mali…
On the rickshaw ride back we stopped on Ellis Bridge and I felt so strange standing in the middle of a bridge, with cars, trucks, rickshaws, bikes flying past on both sides. Amazing…
Back in the Pol, Amanda joined in with the street dancing, and thus ensued a series of ‘ghost dancing’ images – enjoy more on flickr…
October 8th, 2010
arrival and orienteering
I travelled overnight and arrived having 1 hour sleep, so I’ve spent the day following Steve and Amanda’s itinerary, observing and documenting what I saw on my walk through Dhal ni Pol – and then getting a very early night!!
The use of blackboards is common within the Pol as a bit of a ‘community news’ – apparently you can tell the health of a Pol by how much is written on the blackboards… Could this be used efficiently or even well in the UK? Would this work within small communities or city centre locations?
The light quality within the Pol is amazing – the stark contrast between light and shadow provides an ever changing colour palette of inspiration…