Kapaleeshwar Temple, Chennai

The top view of the gopuram

The top view of the gopuram

Kapaleeshwar Temple
Mylapore
Chennai
India

I recently travelled to Chennai, to attend the opening of the Contemporary Jewellery show I was participating in. There, I also attended a talk by art historian Chithra Madhavan on ‘The Navrasas in art and sculpture from South India’, organized by Apparao Galleries.

The rasa (mental state) of Karunyam (compassion) was illustrated through the story of rishi Bhringi, carved on the gopuram (a gateway-usually a monumental ornate tower at the entrance of the temple complex) of the Kapaleeshwar temple in Mylapore, Chennai. The top of the gateway traces many other stories of Lord shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati through innumerable sculptures.

A trip to the temple inevitably became my next stop.

Gopuram door with bells

Gopuram door with bells

Detail of a building housing a shrine

Detail of a building housing a shrine

There are numerous halls and shrines inside the complex, though the two prominent ones of Shiva and Parvati have impressive flagstaffs outside the buildings housing the sanctum sanctorum.

Agamis playing instruments on a pillar in the hall

Agamis playing instruments on a pillar in the hall

Agamis playing instruments on a pillar in the hall

Agamis playing instruments on a pillar in the hall

The flagmast outside the main shrine

The flagmast outside the main shrine

Bottom detail of the flagmast outside the main shrine

Bottom detail of the flagmast outside the main shrine

Lord Krishna carved on one of the pillars of the main shrine

Lord Krishna carved on one of the pillars of the main shrine

Can you see sage Bhringi, the 3-legged devotee of Lord Shiva?

The 3-legged Bhringi with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on their bull Nandi

The 3-legged Bhringi with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on their bull Nandi

According to mythology, Bhringi only wanted to worship Shiva. Shiva’s consort, Parvati, however, took offence at not being worshipped too and sat on her husband’s lap. Bhringi became a snake and slithered between the two.
Shiva, then merged his body with Parvati, taking on the famous ardhanarishwar form. But Bhringi adamantly turned himself into a bee and tried to gnaw his way between the two.
Annoyed, Parvati cursed the sage to loose all parts of his body that came from his mother (In Hindu mythology, bones come from the father and flesh and blood from the mother)
Weakened, Bhringi collapsed on the floor and sure enough, learnt his lesson.
Lord Shiva, then gave Bhringi a third leg to help him stand upright.

Garlands of flowers and lotuses for sale outside the temple

Garlands of flowers and lotuses for sale outside the temple

20 Brooches: a 2014 personal challenge

When I picked up my work again after a gap of 2 years, in 2014, I decided to give myself a challenge of the never-before (…or atleast not since I started my studio practice in 2009).

And 20 brooches took shape.

Some have been blogged about earlier.

Here they all are….in one post :)

 

Under the night sky(front)- 2014

1. Under the night sky(front)- 2014

Under the night sky (back)- 2014

Under the night sky (back)- 2014

A simal spring- 2014

2. A simal spring- 2014

Gulmohar (front)- 2014

3. Gulmohar (front)- 2014

Gulmohar (back)- 2014

Gulmohar (back)- 2014

A simal spring- 2014

4. A simal spring- 2014

Sunken treasures- 2014

5. Sunken treasures- 2014

7. Pushing the boundaries- 2014

6. Pushing the boundaries- 2014

8. buried treasures- 2014

7. buried treasures- 2014

8 & 9. Tit-elation- 2014

8 & 9. Tit-elation- 2014

10. The simal in Autumn- 2014

10. The simal in Autumn- 2014

11. Shiva emerging from the pillar of fire- 2014

11. Shiva emerging from the pillar of fire- 2014

12. The vigil of Utka (front)- 2014

12. The vigil of Utka (front)- 2014

The vigil of Utka (back)- 2014

The vigil of Utka (back)- 2014

13. The limp of the royal buffoon- 2014

13. The limp of the royal buffoon- 2014

14. And still I live (front)- 2014

14. And still I live (front)- 2014

And still I live (back)- 2014

And still I live (back)- 2014

15, 16, 17. he was a quiet man- 2014

15, 16, 17. he was a quiet man- 2014

My passion stands like a blackened doorway- 2014

18. My passion stands like a blackened doorway- 2014

19. And still I live(2)- 2014

19. And still I live(2)- 2014

20. Autumn Lovebirds- 2014

20. Autumn Lovebirds- 2014

321 studio jewellers, 52 rings each- The 2011 Ring-a-Week Challenge

In 2011, 321 studio jewellers answered to a Flickr challenge to make one ring a week and post a photograph of the finished piece to the community group. The challenge was conceptualized and initiated by Thomasin Durgin. There were no fixed rules. Rings did not need to be made of metal, nor did they need to be tangible objects.

1 year=52 weeks=52 rings.

I’d never taken on such a challenge before and jumped right into it. The results surprised me too, as I pushed the limits of my technical and narrative skills each week, with each piece.

Here they all are. Yup! All 52 of them in one post ;)

RAW 1

RAW 1

The Lovebird family: Front & Back

The Lovebird family: Front & Back

RAW 3- And spring surges forth

RAW 3- And spring surges forth

RAW 4- Marigold: Summer blossom

RAW 4- Marigold: Summer blossom

RAW 5- a late april shower

RAW 5- a late april shower

RAW 6: Spring birds

RAW 6: Spring birds

RAW 7

RAW 7

RAW 8-Beaten and weathered...O! but it's new ; )

RAW 8-Beaten and weathered…O! but it’s new ; )

RAW 9 & 10- The ante stone and the stone ring

RAW 9 & 10- The ante stone and the stone ring

RAW 10 & 11- the stone and the ante stone ring

RAW 10 & 11- the stone and the ante stone ring

RAW 12

RAW 12

RAW 13

RAW 13

RAW 14- The gathering at dusk

RAW 14- The gathering at dusk

RAW 15- Marigold: Winter blossoms

RAW 15- Marigold: Winter blossoms

RAW 16- at the threshold

RAW 16- at the threshold

RAW 17- Winter always turns to Spring

RAW 17- Winter always turns to Spring

RAW 18- bends & turns

RAW 18- bends & turns

RAW 19- nest

RAW 19- nest

RAW 20- a ring for viswakarma day

RAW 20- a ring for viswakarma day

RAW 21,22,23-the seed, the germinating seed & the flower

RAW 21,22,23-the seed, the germinating seed & the flower

RAW 24- Sprouting

RAW 24- Sprouting

RAW 25- cleansed

RAW 25- cleansed

RAW 26- Delhi's monsoon

RAW 26- Delhi’s monsoon

RAW 27: The silhouette

RAW 27: The silhouette

RAW 28

RAW 28

RAW 29- The homecoming

RAW 29- The homecoming

RAW 30- Almost a circle

RAW 30- Almost a circle

RAW 31 & 32: the ante stone rings

RAW 31 & 32: the ante stone rings

RAW 33 & 34- the artefact and the new

RAW 33 & 34- the artefact and the new

RAW 35

RAW 35

RAW 35- winter flowers

RAW 36- winter flowers

RAW 37- winter flowers

RAW 37- winter flowers

RAW 38 & 39- winter flowers

RAW 38 & 39- winter flowers

RAW 40, 41, 42, 43- Paper Thin

RAW 40, 41, 42, 43- Paper Thin

RAW 44-49: Metamorphosis

RAW 44-49: Metamorphosis

RAW 50- A sacred time

RAW 50- A sacred time

RAW 51: om ring

RAW 51: om ring

RAW 52: an ugly ring

RAW 52: an ugly ring

Sahr Bashir

A round red balloon....From the 'I dream in red...' series

A round red balloon….From the ‘I dream in red…’ series

Sahr Bashir

Sahr Bashir

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

After graduating from the College of Fine Art (COFA), University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia with a Postgraduate Degree in Design in 2001, I established the Department of Jewelry & Accessory Design within the School of Visual Art & Design at the Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan in 2004. This was the first Programme of its kind in Pakistan, which offered an undergraduate degree in Jewelry  Design and my focus was to develop curricula and educational materials in addition to training faculty, professionals, craftspeople and students.

2. How would you describe your journey as a contemporary jeweller?

My interest in jewelry and objects grew from my freelance design practice after my undergraduate degree in Visual Communication Design at the National College of Arts, Lahore. I was always fascinated with found objects and collected everything from broken glass fragments to river stones. This gradually led to my work becoming a ‘space’ where precious metals and gemstones overlapped with ordinary ‘invaluable’ materials to make statement pieces.

My designs are journeys into the unexpected: imaginary landscapes (Landscape series) where one may find vivid red coral blooming unexpectedly in a plastic paradise. Or encounter a shimmering pearl lake beside a rocky island of pyrite….Each piece is a fluid attempt to create a thoughtful dialogue of the ‘natural’ and the ‘simulated’.

forest of vines

forest of vines

“And I dream in Red..’ is a narrative collection of brooches, where traces of memories overlap with surreal dreams.

Do come in, my dear..

Do come in, my dear..

3. What inspires you?

Nature and all the ‘treasures’ waiting to be discovered in the city of Lahore and beyond!

4.What direction do you see your work taking over the next 5/10 years?

I plan to take out more time to write about everything and anything, as these narratives eventually dictate my work.

5.What are your thoughts about the contemporary jewellery field evolving in South Asia?

The most challenging aspect of working as a contemporary artist-jeweler in this part of the world has been the notion of questioning the very definition of jewelry. The Sub-continent, with its rich history of precious jewels and ornaments dictates the widely accepted ideals of jewelry as body adornment with a distinct inherent ‘value’. Attempts to incorporate ‘non-precious’ materials and technology are resisted and embraced at the same time, thus posing more questions and leading to the exploration of exciting outcomes!

coral island

coral island

6.List of publications, projects and exhibitions that you’ve been involved in.

  •  Recipient of Australian Alumni Excellence Award for Education 2014 by the Government of Australia, Presented by the High Commissioner of Australia, Lahore, Pakistan, 2014
  • Selected for Showcase of Jewelry Design Collection at The Beijing International Jewelry Exhibition 2013 by The Committee of Beijing International Design Week and The Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), Beijing, China, 2013 (as the first Jewelry Artist from Pakistan)
  • ‘Humnawa’ Skills Training and Product Development for women in Muzaffargarh, (South Punjab) in collaboration with PSDF (Punjab Skills Development Fund), Lahore, Pakistan, 2012 which was nominated for the MacJannet Prize 2013 Honorable Mention Award by Talloires Network, Tufts University.
  • Show of Jewelry Collection at launch of No Man’s Land Gallery, Delhi, India 2012
  • Show of Jewelry Collection at Monsoon Festival, Alliance Francaise, Delhi, India 2012
  • Design, Implementation and Training through Certificate Courses in various trade skills (wood crafting, chain making, stamping, etching, fashion accessories), Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan, 2012-13
  • Training of students, craftsmen and alumni in the Traditional Art of Vessel making in collaboration with German silversmith, Michael Boy and Anne Marie Schimmel-Haus, Goethe Institute, Lahore, Pakistan, 2011
  • Master Trainer for Product & Design development for Bahawalpur Craftsmen (South Punjab) with AHAN, 
SMEDA (Small & Medium Enterprise Development Authority), Lahore, 2006

7.Where can one buy your work?

My design studio in Lahore

tree of life

tree of life

8.Website 

In process

9.E-mail 

sahrbashir@gmail.com

10.Currently:

On the bench: Cast rose thorns, snowglobes and dandelions

On the wall: Paintings, drawings…

On the pod: Trance, Abida Parveen, Coke studio

 In the drive: Files, documents, family photos

On the shelf: Books, books and more books…

The boat rocks gently....

The boat rocks gently….

Niels Schoenfelder

Romeo and Juliet Apartment buildings, Stuttgart, Germany

Romeo and Juliet Apartment buildings, Stuttgart, Germany

Niels Schoenfelder

Niels Schoenfelder

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself and what defines your design aesthetic.

Architect by training and practicing design of anything related to the built environment my focus is certainly on spaces and objects which are un-pretentiously searching for poetic subtext in the mundane.
Aesthetically this leads to rigorously simple solutions often reaching back to the pre-modern. Its a search for depth beyond stylistic conventions of today.
2. What prompted you to create jewellery?
 Not what but  who? : Sharan Apparao of Apparao Galleries, did.

3. You have made jewellery for the first time. What challenges did you face? And what factors did you consider in the design and fabrication of the pieces? I did not make anything! Together with Jean-François Lesage I conceptualized the making of these pieces. They are made by master embroiderers of Lesage interiors…

This is to say that there where no technical or physical challenges… The design contemplates the architectural drawing as a cultural record transformed into wearable pieces… a monument of epic proportions becomes the little, pretty adornment for an evening … we find this contrast irreverent and poetic.
Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh

Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh

4. You have collaborated with the atelier of Vastrakala, one of the top names in luxury embroidered home furnishing. How did that come about?
Jean- Francois Lesage is a good friend and his business  partner Malavika Shivakumar happens to be my wife…
 
5.Do you see your jewellery collection as a continuation of your design aesthetic/practice as an architect or as a separate entity?
Our practice includes interiors, objects .. so these do have a connection with the work of the studio.
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

6. On what basis did you choose the monuments? Can you tell us more about your chosen format in terms of materials used, product type and display?
They are chosen across time and cultures and building typology …. and yet they all have jewel like qualities.
7. What direction do you see your future jewellery collections taking?
it would certainly be interesting to probe deeper into this subject of “re-crafting” drawings … other artisans and crafts could interpret very differently and the potential for this to turn into 3 dimensional objects is huge too…
8. Where can one buy your work? Apparao Galleries
10. E-mail architects@mancini-design.com
11. Currently: On the bench: a river beach landscape 
               On the wall: a design for a villa by my great grandfather
                In the drive: construction photographs
                On the shelf: books  – need more shelves…
Chateau de Chenonceau, France

Chateau de Chenonceau, France

Pallavi Verma

traces necklace

traces necklace

Pallavi Verma

Pallavi Verma

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I pursued B.A. Hons. Jewellery Design and Metal Smithing in Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium. Presently I am pursuing M.A. Jewellery Design in Antwerp. I moved to Antwerp about five years ago. It is hard to not be involved with art when you are in Europe and I took advantage of that. I really discovered myself here and I am still learning and discovering.

2. How would you describe your journey as a contemporary jeweller?

My college education is more directed to contemporary art and this is how I learned and got interested in contemporary art and jewellery as a whole. I was also attracted to this college because of the freedom given to the students. By freedom I mean choice of style, interest, direction, material, etc. I feel I am too young and fresh to have a signature style. I am exploring all the possibilities at the moment. I like to work with concepts, the rest (material/technique/production) flows accordingly. All of my work until now is self-made.

3. What inspires you?

I was born and brought up in India thus I am very fond of our culture and often use it as an inspiration for my work. I have had many valuable experiences in both the cultures (Indian and European), I try to use my personal experiences in my work.

memory brooch 1

memory brooch 1

With these ‘Memory Brooches’ (featured here), I aim to leave a mark/imprint/memory with the wearer and the surrounding.

These wearable brooches are colour powder containers. When worn they leave a stain on your clothes with the movement of the body during the day. The more you move, the more colour pops up on your clothes. I displayed this work in a few exhibitions as an installation with the brooches submerged in the colour powder.

4. What direction do you see your work taking over the next 5/10 years? 

With my work I will like to reach out to people more in an artistic way. I think jewellery has a lot of potential and it helps/transforms the way you look at things.

5. What are your thoughts about the contemporary jewellery field evolving in India?

Well, I recently came to know about Project Bawra. I am very glad this effort has been taken to promote contemporary jewellery in India because no doubt we (Indian) have a lot of potential. We just need more awareness.

6. List of publications, projects and exhibitions that you’ve been involved in?

– “Ways of Seeing, an open air atelier” workshop by Ciecle De Mul & Linda Ruttelynck @ Andalucia,Spain (2015,March)

– “AND REMEMBER, AN ELEPHANT NEVER FORGETS” exhibition 2015, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. (Contemporary Jewelry)

– Schmuch 2015, Munich, Germany. (Contemporary Jewelry)

New Tradition Jewellery competition 2014 Nominee, Amsterdam, Holland.

– Seiraad Fair 2014, Amsterdam, Holland. (Contemporary Jewelry)

– Biennale Interieur 2014, Kortrijk, Belgium. (Contemporary Jewelry)

– Happy Birthday Dear Academy (350 years) 2014, Antwerp, Belgium (Contemporary Jewelry & Objects)

– Schmuch 2014, Munich, Germany. (Contemporary Jewelry)

– ‘Stroom van Talent’ published on 10/12/13 on CanvasTV, (Happy Birthday Dear Academy documentary)

– Seiraad Fair 2013, Amsterdam, Holland. (Contemporary Jewelry)

– Participated in De Lions Club competition 2011, Antwerp, Belgium (Fine Art)

memory brooch 2

memory brooch 2

7. Where can one buy your work?

I have sold some group projects in my Academy and in Sieraad Fair, Amsterdam. My website is in process now so soon one will be able to see/buy my work online.

8. Website? 

In process

9. E-mail? 

pallavi.verma0021@gmail.com

10.Currently:
On the bench: Chalk, plaster, pigments, etc

On the wall: Inspirational pictures and some sketches.

In the drive: Personal works, portfolio, CV, inspirational pictures, rhino files, etc.

On the shelf: Sketch books/Art books.

11. Anything else that you would like to share about yourself? 

I enjoy my work and I aim to imprint as many people possible with my jewellery.

memory brooch 3

memory brooch 3

Dreamtime on an Indian latitude

The Blog-o-sphere Think Tank topic for May :  “Share with us a little window in to your space/life/home.”

I thought long and hard…There are many spaces that I value immensely, spaces that fill the spaces in the spaces and add up to the making of me; some contribute everyday and some in spurts.

Is it the bookshelf, that feeds my imagination?

Is it the table where I write..design…compose…?

Is it the workbench where rituals are born?

Or is it this little space which allows me to dream? This space where time ceases to matter; where values are considered and conflicted only to dissipate into naught; This space where parallels align and merge. I think, this is it.

Hungry for more? Here’s where you can read what my friends have to say on the same topic:

Tosca Teran aka nanopod: : http://nanopod.me/2015/05/20/window-space/

marie bell :: http://www.pencilfox.com/2015/05/may-blog-o-sphere-think-tank-sharing.html

Kathleen Krucoff:  http://wp.me/pA5jX-K4

Andes Cruz: https://andescruz.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/spaces/