Artist of The Day | Suryakanta Swain
Cement, iron, sand, stone and ceramic
“All cities are mad: but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful, but the beauty is grim. Christopher Morley. [American Poet]
In city everyone in constant search for a secure life, space, little fresh air, a better plan or design, a peaceful and comfortable co-existence with diverse culture and nature. These could be easily noticed here in its life, architecture, road plan and in its whole system through the time. So city is our own extension, it itself a body and life that is in the process of growth.
My works are rooted and inspired from the urban life. Its fast and constantly changing landscape, construction, deconstruction, glamour, lights, plasticity, rat race, restlessness, ambiguity, meaninglessness, the constant fights for power, surviving always make me feel wonder and those existential question arises, where the life is moving what is its meaning? As a human being and as an artist what should be my basic concerns?
Being a child I liked obsessively observing the workers doing their repetitive work like making bricks, wood work and pot making, which might not be considered as aesthetic making or craft. Then I was not aware of the migration issues or the hardship of laborers. Being a fine art student I did drifted away in the primary years learning the basics but later in my practice the childhood fascination has a great impact on my work.
I saw the landscape around my area changing rapidly and abreast the urbanization. As I moved to Delhi I also observed the same and also the challenges and problems a city and the habitants come across. I started work around the urbanization and people involved in it (the migrant workers). The work shaped around the ubiquitous forms and materials of the urban centers like the brick, cement bags, metal rods, pottery and the interlocking pavement shapes. I tried to document and create a narrative around construction sites, the migrant laborer and materials involved in it.
Courtesy of Roy Thomas