ANINDITA DUTTA
 

Clay is a primary element of nature; I use clay to open an existential dialogue of love and loss, living and non-living, identity and sexuality. I see layers of clay as mementos of actions of the body, an anthropological time capsule. Clay allows me to confront our vulnerability and mortality without compromising the complexities of existence. By kneading, walking, pushing, drawing, writhing, clawing, and dragging wet clay, I explore the susceptibility and conflict the body and mind faces.

The transformation from working with wet clay as a sculptor to using it as a medium of performance and permanent sculpture was very slow and natural. While practicing as a sculptor, clay was a basic material that I was used to working with. However, over time, I realized that the kind of mind and personality that I am born with is very compatible to expression with wet clay. I discovered the medium had bearing on my philosophical and emotional bent of mind. On one hand my works examine temporality, mortality, life and death and on another they express separation, constriction, hurt and loss. All of this comes together with an outburst of energy that requires a cathartic venting.

Perhaps subconsciously I was always looking for material that would respond to these twin sides of my personality, a medium where I could release my emotions immediately and clay responded to that call. Wet clay allows me to express my emotions instantaneously and spontaneously, it pairs and matches perfectly with my temperament and enables me to work for six to sixteen hours at a stretch, during which I can fully express my emotions and concepts. In the end it gives me peace of mind and makes me feel calm. It literally takes care of my overload of energy. In that sense clay helps me find release.

What I also like about working with clay is that it has a character of its own, it’s like a marsh that draws you in, deeper and deeper. Working with clay is often like wrestling, it weighs a lot once it is wet and it gives a resistance as if it were a person pushing back at me. It is also receptive to creating marks and textures that I do with my bare hands. As a result a variety of different emotions are created, expressed through this medium.