The return of the rebellious streak

Written by Garima Pant | Updated: Oct 20 2008, 04:58am hrs
It was his need to come back to art and do the thing he knows the best. Having studied sculpture from the MS University in Baroda, this Shillong based artist had his last solo show outside India in the year 2000 at Munich. Returning to the art world after a hiatus of almost a decade, Prithpal Singh Ladis works are a medium for expressing his sorrows and experiences. After battling with an array of personal problems and an ongoing legal battle, he found solace in his work and decided to make a comeback.

Almost all my works reflect my personal emotions. Some people chronicle it in their personal diaries. But for me, my emotions and expressions take the form of a sculpture, says Ladi. He believes in making distinguished statements through his work dedicated to his father and brother. My works depict and portray what every human being is going through. The way humans are used as puppets using unseen strings, says the artist.

Apart from the metal sculptors, what are striking are the intricate works of fibre glass and shapes and forms made of junk material like fused bulbs, old test tubes, shards of whiskey bottles, broken tube-lights, old chandeliers and even semi-precious gemstones from his fathers collections.

Colourful dragonfly with intricate wings and insects with torsos made with semi-precious stones are a joy to look at. Ladi even proudly produced an insect, similar to his junk collection done by his 10-year-old son. These sculptors made of junk are the punctuation of my work,

says Ladi.

Tunty Chauhan, Director of Gallery Threshold had always been fascinated by Ladis work, which is more of organic in nature owing to his stay in Shillong. I had met him three years back and always wanted to display his works, driven more by curiosity. He is a master when it comes to handling fibre glass, says Chauhan. The ongoing show will feature sculptures in gemstones, glass, metal and other materials. One of his favourite pieces displayed is a sculpture titled Type Muskan, where Ladi has used an antique typewriter from the makers of Mercedes to create a jungle story for his 10-year-old son Muskan. I am revisiting my childhood years through my son. Just like a child, I learn everyday to resurrect dead material that is no longer of any use, says Ladi. He loves to add value to these worthless materials.

Calling himself as a chronicler of his relevant times, Ladi promises to make make strong statements against the judiciary in the country.