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When silence speaks November 15, 2014

Publication: The Tribune- Life+Style

By Amarjot Kaur
What, in your opinion, would possibly be a more callous attempt at understanding art than to simply render its relevance as indifferent? As Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi inaugurates a sculpting workshop that will feature Padma Shri Rajendar Tiku, a sculptor best known for his ability to generate the ambiance of silence and sacred around his sculpture, one stands acquainted with him at the lawns of Government Museum and Art Gallery-10, Chandigarh where he speculates the clays.
While he engages in an interesting banter about his journey of becoming a sculptor even as he was studying science and law, there is more that comes to light than the expression of his artistic calibre.
In the backdrop of over ten Chandigarh-based artists, engrossed in the activities of crafting their woods, which they will later use as moulds to set their clays on and then quote them with metal casting, Rajendar reclines on a rather comfortable chair, soaking the warmth of the winter sun. “Though I exhibit most of my works in Delhi and Jaipur, I stay in Jammu and the idea of taking up sculpting came up when I was taking evening classes for sculpting,” he says.
Waxing eloquent on how it was possible (in those days) to take up art lessons in the evening even as one was studying to get a degree in science, he says, “Sculpting is quite a tough game. Perhaps because sculpting has a formal language of its own,” he shares. However, he grieves that the very language of sculpting has often been ignored or left un-interpreted by most people. “I am saddened by the way sculpting, as an art, has not evolved with the understanding of its formal language, in contrast to the disciplines like art and music. Unfortunately, people fail to acknowledge the art of sculpting with relevance to its artistic existence,” he shares.
Rajendar, who seeks inspiration form the man-made things rather than romancing nature, shares that his sculptures are the materialisation of his thoughts.
“Nature impresses me, but not as significantly or intensely as a kitchen utensil that registers the touch of the hands or a worn out tool. These man-made items spell their utility over a passage of time,” he says. In most of his works, Rajendar uses terracotta and cleverly moulds the cracks and breaks in the block of stone, while creating an aura of a relic form the past. A sense of history breathes another dimension to most of his roughly carved sculptures. “Personally, I love working in terracotta, but these days I am experimenting with metal casting too. Even at the workshop, I will be making a sculpture with metal casting,” he says.
Well, how many times does one get an opportunity to have a look at brilliant artists at work? It’s time you wore your arty clothes and rushed to the 10-day long workshop at the lawns of Government Museum and Art Gallery-10 to get a glimpse of Rajender working with 10 city artists.
amarjot@tribunemail.com
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