Ceramics 4 – A Review by Corinne


‘I’ll go back to heaven again.
At the end of my outing to this beautiful world
I’ll go and say: That was beautiful.’

Those profound words from Korean poet Chon Sang-pyong are already beautiful. But this octave of beauty goes up a notch higher when you find out that the poet was blind.
This poem is also the inspiration and metaphor of the exhibition currently displayed in Citadines …so many heavens… by Priya Sundaravalli.

There is no short cut to growth or the evolution of the Soul, until each physical or psychological function has been correctly connected or developed. Nothing occurs outside its time as it is part of a sequence in the great cosmic cycle that unfurls the grand design of existence. Many aspirants do not perceive this law and become quite impatient and even lose faith when providence seems to hold back.

To this Pondicherry-born ceramic artist, it was Korea which opened the doors to metamorphose her life and artistic expression.

As any blessed person, she was clearly helped by circumstance. Leaving for a 4-month long artist residency in a tiny village near Busan in South Korea, where little English was spoken, she found herself in a near state of Vipassana. The universe had morphed its form pushing her to rely entirely upon her senses, which meant observing closely and learning from all that offered itself. She slowly found herself responding more from the heart and less from the mind.

Not all ceramics in the exhibition was produced during this time, but those from Korea are the ones that touched me the most. Most have names that will take the mind on a journey… ‘A night of the million stars’ is a framed high-fired ceramic wall plate sprinkled with Swarovski crystals; ‘Summer cloud over Gimhae’ is a puffy porcelain form resting lightly on the wall; while ‘Path to the grotto’ is an porcelain form like a mountain side in winter time, with a tiny laughing bone Buddha in a hollow at the center.

Over 65 works are displayed in this exhibition, most created in Auroville over the past year, such as ‘Mantra’ and ‘Roots’, that remind one of art from the Middle Ages with their coloration of indigo, gold, and earth tones. Also two large triptychs, one gold and the other silver blue, scattered with organic ceramic forms mounted on painted wood, will catch your attention.

An homage to this beautiful world… an allegory of heavens… and of so many heavens…

I wish that you enjoy the beautiful ceramic creations of Priya Sundaravalli and like her, to see and feel what a delight it is to be alive.

Chana Corinne Devor for AVarts

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