Stir World: Vegetal sculptures of Khageswar Rout explore complex natural structures

Posted On: Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 | by project88pressadmin

Khageswar Rout’s Annex & Dissever Code present enlarged, yet intricate organic forms in terracotta that negotiate between reason and instinct at gallery Project 88 in Mumbai, India.

by Rahul Kumar

How many of us observe the forms in nature? Not merely see them, but intently examine the subtleties of texture of petals and fruit-skins, study the robustness of skeletal structures of pods and seeds? For artist Khageswar Rout it is this interest and curiosity of the natural world that informs his visual art practice. He uses the terracotta clay to create enlarged organic forms after carefully observing the “formal logic of objects and their innate characteristics”. He feels that symbols can be forced to have specific reference only if they are seen in a conventional way. “Signs can never have definite meanings, for these meaning must be qualified, continuously,” he says. His sculptures problematise this very act of reading and representing signs in nature through rational framework.

Untitled | Annex & Dissever Code | Khageswar Rout | STIRworld

For Rout, there could be no other media suited for this body of work. “Clay has the ability to respond to the slightest of efforts, from light finger prints to the gentlest of scratches. As I negotiate with it, it records all of my temperaments, containing moments of joy, sadness, and other fixations,” he says, and being a ceramist myself, I can fully empathise with this feeling.

I speak to the artist on his preoccupation with forms from nature, his negotiation between reason and instinct, and his clay process, on the sidelines of his ongoing solo presentation at gallery Project 88 in Mumbai, titled Annex & Dissever Code.

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