Online Ceramic Show : Inside Outside

Inside Outside… Curator's note

Inside Outside. To my mind, we could not have chosen a more fitting theme for our debut online show. Since the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt, in India, as in many other places, it has felt like being trapped inside a horror or science fiction movie. As a result of a hastily implemented lockdown in 2020, many of us found ourselves locked in indefinitely, while a lot many more were locked out. Where you found yourself, and what kind of security and resources you were able to access, like all things in the country, depended on your social location. For instance, the country’s many worker migrants, for a while, were caught in an in-between state--unable to get home to their families in the villages, unable to get adequate shelter in the cities they toil for. Social distancing was never easy for the country's poor who are forced to live cheek by jowl, and for whom the inside might make them more susceptible to the fast spreading virus than the outside. Gaining entry and being kept out took profound overtones when the second wave hit us this year. As the world looked on in horror, getting inside the capital's overwhelmed hospitals to seek help or to find space in the overflowing graveyards to bury the dead turned into a matter of pure chance.

These years are marked by untold grief, trauma and loss and has changed all the things we previously took for granted. Never before has our very lives depended on how we navigate human contact, and spaces. Our ways of communication has changed and many have to cope with feelings of isolation and loneliness. At the same time, with every churning comes new modes of creativity, ways to imagine new horizons. Blessed are the people who can find any artistic outlet to cope with their emotions. But for me there cannot be a better medium than clay, requiring the very thing that now feels so prohibitive: human touch, in which our hands give shape to form and expression. It remains one of the most impressionable and expressive mediums available to artists.

At the Indian Ceramic Arts Forum, we wanted to use this opportunity to consider questions about life and death, hope and despair--and all the spaces in between. Once we emerge from this catastrophe, what will an outside look like? How have we changed our relationship to the inside?

Out of over hundred applications, we have chosen 20 artists who will engage with this theme. To choose from the many talented applicants, the ICAF team had hours of discussions and several rounds of voting. The chosen artists will showcase their work and share their experiences. This is ICAF’s first online exhibition and we invite all of you in!

Thank you.
Madhur Sen
Trustee: ICAF

We would like to express our immense gratitude towards the following organisations and individuals for their unbiased support and contribution like valuable information, texts, photographs and videos while the making of this website. “Marg” Magazine, Kristine Michael, Jyoti Bhatt, and Alpesh Gajjar.