Exploring cement as a medium of art

Exploring cement as a medium of art

Exploring cement as a medium of art

Cement has been conventionally used to create buildings, but a group of artists here have explored it as a medium to create works of art.

The artworks exhibited at an ongoing show titled "Craft Beton", explore the versatility of green cement, while highlighting its potential of rendering an aesthetic element to the creations, Curated by city-based artist Iti Tyagi, the exhibition is underway at Bikaner House here.

Tyagi describes her experience of working with cement as "intense".

The project which started months ago at Craft village, an art residency in the city, saw internationally acclaimed designers making crafted chairs, fruit baskets, sculptures, lamps and jewellery, all made from cement.

"Initially it was unimaginable to work in cement as a medium of fine arts. It was an intense experience and had several challenges in the beginning. When the green cement landed at our craft village, we didn't know what to do with it.

"But soon we realised the sheer range of possibilities the material lends itself to. It was really impressive and enriching in terms of the outcome," says Tyagi.

The artist was accompanied by Polish artist Miroslaw Baca along with Alan Saga from Mexico and Somesh Singh.
The show, which has on display 50 art pieces that skillfully combine creativity, innovation and knowledge, also seeks to revive the traditional skills of sculpting.

"It took us months to research about the product because we had to try cement with multiple other earth materials like clay, plaster of paris, minerals, several organic stuff while giving a finished look to the products. "It was purely inspired by the process of sculpting and a lot of energy went in to give the sculptures perfect shape with hands. Being carbon free, the green cement is not only durable but also safe to use," says Tyagi.

Inspired by ideas like "Autumn - the season of change" and "Mysteries of Fusion", the exhibited objects of art at the show are a tribute to India's rich heritage.

One such artwork by Tyagi titled, "Crown of the Palace" is inspired by the Taj Mahal. "It is a teardrop on the cheek of time," says the curator.

Two beautifully crafted watches, "Quantum Leap- Time of your Life" and "Dali- The flow of time", are inspired by the works of surrealist painter Salvador Dali.

Indian artist Somesh Singh, who lived at the residency for about four months, says imagination was the only support that helped him shape the raw material into the final product.

"I believe imagination can shape the material and design can develop any function. Also, creativity may evoke originality but it is only the joy of making that can create a masterpiece," he says.

Presented by Dalmia Cement, the exhibition also carries a range of products inspired by Japanese and Mexican cultures.

"This exhibition is not just a product line but it reflects a shift in perception, use and application of cement. By demonstrating the sheer versatility of this material, the show demonstrates that cement can be very aesthetic, practical and aspiration," says Puneet Dalmia, Managing Director of Dalmia Bharat Group.