The author wonders why so many Indian studio sculptors today choose to follow their contemporaries in the west, since the vision of these peers is the exclusive product of the western historical past which bears little relevance to the complex world that is India. She expresses the hope that dormant cultural dynamics can be reawakened after depth encounters with the great sculpture of India. Hopefully this will result in revitalized native art forms.
Diagrams, photographs and texts clarify modern insights and reveal inherent patterns, structures and systems, on the macro level in the cave and built temples and on the micro level in quantum physics. There exists the possibility that these intrinsic tendencies in nature might be the precise point of interaction, the path by means of which the modern Indian sculptor can renew contact with indigenous aesthetics.
In viewing her own work displayed here in photographs, Berkson acknowledges her debt to Indian sculpture in concept, style and primarily in vigour. Indeed, her dominant themes derive from the rich storehouse of Indian mythology and legend: Durga slaying the buffalo demon/God; the awesome dance of Siva; the man-lion Avatara of Visnu; Krishna subduing Kaliya; and many more. The statues are imbued with Rasa or essence that characterizes all genuine Indian art. While the style is modern and individual, the spirit is ancient and universal.
Table of Contents:
- Retrieving the connection
- In the end is the beginning: Time-memory-myth
- Traditional definition of sculpture
- Who is doing sculpture in India today
- Winds from the west
- Current concerns
- Mental events
- Pattern (Panjara)
- Sculpture: diagrams of immanent underlying patterns
- Carmel Berkson
- Dasavatara, Cave 15, Ellora
- Carmel Berkson: Sculpture and related myths
- Durga on lion