When sculptures in stone had the geeks glued

When sculptures in stone had the geeks glued


Sculptor at work

Fourteen sculptors chiseling out imposing, multi-dimensional structures, bang in the middle of a tech park buzzing with thousands of IT geeks. What on earth were they up to in an arena hooked to cutting edge technology, and miles away from anything remotely artistic?

For an entire month from November 17 to December 17, the sculptors had stayed put at the RMZ Ecoworld on Outer Ring Road, perfecting their works for the Sculpture Symposium. But in the process of that gruelling task, they opened up unique interactions with the tech crowd, building bridges, redefining meaning into material.

DH caught up with sculptor D Rajasekharan Nair, carving out a unique 11.5 ft skyscraper from a single piece of red sandstone. This was juxtaposed with a sculpted pickaxe, symbolising tools invented by humans that have retained their shape and utility since the dawn of civilisation.

Nair's sculpted message was this: even the mega cities have the invisible act of the human hand with basic tools building small blocks to progress into the scale that is unimaginable. The sculpture was a response to the urban landscape and its invisible workforce.

For Shanthamani Muddaiah, sculpting the 'Hands' was about getting into the depths of a city's life. She explained: "Witnessing Bengaluru reducing itself from a garden and cultural city to a 24x7 working city with many invisible hands and voices toiling in call centres and multinationals, I felt I understood the reality of the working community."

Temptation of an illusionary space. That was S Gopinath's unique sculpture, beckoning the viewer to make sense of the mysterious aura of a white marble stone. It was a cryptic invitation to the onlooker to wonder what would populate that plain marble slate.

The artist is missing from the scene. But a chisel and hammer, realistically crafted in stone, is part of the sculpture. The onlooker's hand automatically yearns to grab the tools to check whether what looks like an illusion is actually true.

The Sculpture Symposium, as Anu Menda, managing trustee, RMZ Foundation, puts it, had its focus clearly on regional identity, future of resources, work and sustainability. "The driving purpose is to ignite, nurture and sustain interest in contemporary art and sculpture, while integrating the same with architecture and landscape."