A character of steel

Updated: Mar 26 2006, 05:30am hrs
Artistic expression knows no boundaries. Especially of surfaces and mediums, as artists seek to go beyond traditional mediums.

Confluence, an exhibition of works of Indian and international artists who have worked in stainless steel, is on in Delhis Visual Arts Gallery till March 30. Organised by Jindals Artdinox, who aim to take steel beyond the utilitarian in utensils and other household items, this exhibition seeks to get people started on steel as an medium of expression, says Deepika Jindal, chairperson, Artdinox and curator of the show.

On show are works from eminent artists like Dashrath Patel, founder of Ahmedabads National Institute of Design (NID), who is already known for his experiments in various mediums. Also part of the show are Pinakin Patel, Sanjib Chatterjee and Anjali Walankar and Vibhor Soghani. The international participants include German Rolf Kluenter and Thai Ariya Kitticharoenwiwat.

Globally, there is some wonderful work in steel, says Jindal, citing public installations in Chicago as an example. She wants to promote steels use in as many ways as possible. Theres so much character in steel, she gushes. A look at the works reinforces that as theres diversity in them from sculptures to paintings, each is different.

But she agrees that working in steel is a challenge and expensive too. We support efforts in institutes like NID, National Institute of Fashion Technology and IIT, Mumbai, to expose students to steel, adds Sugato Bose, business head of Artdinox. He adds that theres a lot of frustration among artists to explore mediums such as this.

Is it easy to adjust People who have a technical background would find it easier, says Jindal. There are factors like the quality of steel, tempering, shaping, etc, which could require some effort to master. The artist is however totally involved right from conceptualising to the final product. A limitation is that it can be done only in a workshop unless someone installs the facilities at home.

How does Artdinox face up to the perception of steel being a utilitarian rather than an aesthetic medium We are working to bring in that awareness that theres tremendous potential in steel, stresses Jindal. This exhibition is a step towards that. Its a movement thats started. Adds Bose, We also recognise steels functional value and a lot of our products are usable. And becoming increasingly popular as people buy even buy items like dinner sets in huge numbers.