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“Suspended from the ceiling, the work seems to defy gravity; it casts a series of entrancing shadows, which from a distance evoke the sense of having stumbled on a surreal, hidden oasis. Yet the emphatically material quality of the work disrupts the lyrical illusion of undisturbed, dreamlike tranquility and perfection, quietly suggesting that other kinds of transformations are afoot.”

Shanay Jhaveri

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Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Usually composed of numerous nonrepresentational forms, Ranjani Shettar's immersive environments are inspired by her observations of the now-threatened natural environs of her native India. Shettar combines natural and industrial materials such as beeswax, wood, organic dyes, vegetable pastes, lacquer, steel, and cloth in her large-scale installations.  Each component is individually finished by the artist and has a deliberately roughhewn quality. The imperfect and irregular patinas of these materials draw attention to the artisanal nature of her practice, while also acknowledging the components' lived realities. Although Shettar's abstract sculptures are resonant of more familiar traditions of Western modernist and minimalist sculpture, they are distinctive due to the careful interplay of technique and materials, mostly drawn from local sources.

In Seven ponds and a few raindrops, Shettar has molded pieces of stainless steel into a series of sensual, curved, amoebic, shape-shifting elements that have been covered in muslin.  Her technique of staining the cloth with a natural paste of tamarind is derived from a craft tradition she observed in the small village of Kinnala.  Suspended from the ceiling, the work seems to defy gravity; it casts a series of entrancing shadows, which from a distance evoke the sense of having stumbled on a surreal, hidden oasis.  Yet the emphatically material quality of the work disrupts this lyrical illusion of undisturbed, dreamlike tranquility and perfection, quietly suggesting that other kinds of transformations are afoot. 

Exhibition Views

Exhibition Views Thumbnails

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Stainless steel, dyed muslin, tamarind

229″ x 223″ x 96″

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Stainless steel, dyed muslin, tamarind

229″ x 223″ x 96″

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

Seven ponds and a few raindrops, 2017

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