Liminal, Savia Mahajan’s first solo exhibition at TARQ, explores through a variety of mediums – including sculpture, drawing and installation – notions of life, death and the in-between.
While Mahajan’s sculptures use conventional pottery materials, including ceramic, porcelain, paper and clay, she also experiments with chemicals such as cobalt, iron oxide and even gold in her detailed sculptures. With these materials, she creates a vast range of objects, from fossils to books, to a series of shape-shifting objects. Also included in the exhibition are Savia’s intricate drawings on recycled paper, which mirror her preoccupations with detail, nuance and material.
Conceptually, she embarks on a journey that explores the ‘in-between’ state that rests between the eternal polarities of life and death. She plays with the idea of the universality of the ‘liminal’ space that transcends religion and exists as a profound spiritual truth.
As a ceramicist and obsessive collector, Savia has collected a number of urns that are used across cultures to store the remains of the dead. As part of the series, “beginning – end – beginning” she uses these to deeply question our very existence as particles on the earth, bringing together a complex thread of thought, best articulated by Professor K. Sridhar.
In his essay on the show, he says, “Liminal wants us to return to a mode of art which chose to address primordial questions. It moves away from the questions that dominate public life; indeed, it asks what happens to those questions when they are confronted by death and dissolution. It returns to the age-old, probably never-to-be-answered, question of whether there exists anything other than the body which survives death… When the book burns with the clay in the furnace, what does it leave behind? This is the question that Liminal forces us to face head-on.”