Phantom Figures and Broken Conversations
Speech bubbles, dwarfed totems and bundled objects: Sandhya Bordewekar visits a joint show by Khanjan Dalal and Radhika Hamlai.
Khanjan Dalal. Homebound. Electric-fired stoneware. 2014-18. Image courtesy of the artist.
Know… Not this, a joint show by ceramic artist Khanjan Dalal and Middle East-based abstractionist Radhika Hamlai, was held at 079|Stories Gallery, Ahmedabad, from the 10th of October to the 2nd of November.
In 2007-08, ceramic artist Trupti Patel and I had curated a three-part Survey Show on Ceramics – Sculptural and Studio for Dalal who ran Gallery Lemongrasshopper on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The third part of the show which included more than 35 ceramic artists was held at the Herwitz Gallery in central Ahmedabad. This show triggered a desire in Dalal to try his hand at ceramics (he had studied Painting at Baroda). Over the next few years, he created his own studio, got initiated into functional studio pottery and moved to sculptural works, experimenting with materials, techniques, glazes and forms.
Dalal and Hamlai are disparate artists who met each other accidentally but whose works, as the curator of the show Georgina Maddox puts it, “are underpinned by similar universal human conditions…” Another thread of commonality between the two is the element of contemplative catharsis that suffuses their works though it takes diametrically different routes of expression.