My Work: The Pillars

May 08, 2013


Santiniketan-based artist PrasantaSahu writes about his recent sculpture. 

My recent sculpture The Pillars, consists of three pair of feet from which arise pillar like metal armatures. 

These bony feet, with raised veins and rough hard skin, are sculpted to resemble feet of working class people. Patches of plaster which were a part of the moulding and casting process, mimic the dirt on the feet of construction workers.  Steel armatures which are usually used for construction of concrete pillars, come  out  from each foot . The upper part of the work resembles a cityscape with incomplete structures which instead of being connected to the ground rise out of the feet. This whole arrangement is displayed on the ground and may be read as a recognition of the role of working class people in the construction of a new India.

Behind any developing nation as I understand there are two prominent groups. The one which plans, visualises , conceives  and the other group which executes. In a simpler time, the planner and executer might have been same, as one can still see in the rural or tribal context, where the people plan and build their own houses . But in the process of development things get complex, compartmentalized and divided into sections like architects, planners, contractors, and laborers. Unfortunately we never remember the workers who execute and turn the concept into reality. For me both the groups are equally important. But where the prior group gets easy recognition the later are never celebrated.

This work is my homage, a salute to the working class, their unrecognized contribution  towards building great edifices that stand witness to the times we live in.

The Pillars, Fibre glass, steel and plaster, 8’-0” x 5’-0” x 1’-3, 2013