Clay off the Wall – Group Show – Curated by Adil Writer and Shayonti Salvi

CLAY – OFF THE WALL, was born out of an aborted wall-mural show. In a way, it condensed the thoughts of clay artists from a canvas of a large wall, to three platters. Call it condensation, call it focus, a platter is a strong statement to hang up on a wall; it demands attention, it grabs eyeballs. Immediately. Add to that the variety of approaches to the idea of a platter from thirty selected artists and you have a conundrum of nearly ninety platters jostling for attention in a beautifully dark gallery setting!

This show at Gallery Art & Soul is co-curated by gallerist Tarana Khubchandani and ceramists Shayonti Salvi and myself; three very diverse points of view, I may add. We decided at the outset to make this a show as inclusive as possible, flinging out a net far and wide, inviting over fifty artists to send in proposals. With the crunch of the time factor we lost out on some important names but we gained by inviting several fresh new faces that are already making waves on the vibrant studio ceramic scene in India. 

Why is the show titled so? Remember the enigma called Michael Jackson? Off The Wall as an album was the opportunity for him to start from scratch–to put the Motown years and childhood star behind and become arguably the greatest performer in history. Lyrics in the album touched upon a number of themes including escapism, liberation, loneliness, hedonism, and romance. While I personally cannot stand unseen concepts in art, and more so, metaphors in art discourse about art, I can promise that the platters showcased in this show, more than ever, touch upon these themes. 

Expect simplicity; expect complex emotions and humour;

Expect cloak & dagger politics; 

Expect the unexpected because a certain timelessness hangs in the air at the gallery. Some works look new, others look weathered in the bodies that inhabit them. Studio ceramics in India is blazing away. Come experience some magic here, where clay as a medium encourages us to lift our eyes… to attend more closely to the implications of the stunning wannabe universe around us where democracies are slayed but where hope abounds. Remember? “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough”.