Grant Period: Over two years
S D Hariprasad is one of the few contemporary sculptors in Andhra Pradesh working consistently with his traditional skills and tools.
Hariprasad has been practicing mostly in the medium of stone––a skill he inherited from his traditional family of sculptors. With a background in the fine arts from Andhra University, he has begun to integrate other mediums into his work, nurturing his traditional practice within the context of contemporary art. Hariprasad is eager to expand his vision and question his original artistic approach, and this grant will help him to transform his style and experiment with new mediums and technologies.
Apart from Hariprasad’s own instinct for innovation, his new quest has been triggered by the lack of facilities and adequate institutional training to inspire experimental artistic approaches. He also points out the many practical inconveniences of working in stone and the anxieties of transporting and exhibiting large stone sculptures as factors that have restricted his spatial freedom.
As Hariprasad prefers working directly on any given medium, glass, plastic, acrylic, foam, stainless steel and mixed media now form new channels for his sculptural practice. Glass facilitates a more effective use of colour, while steel, says Hariprasad, makes a massive and concrete statement. This grant supports Hariprasad to learn the coldworking technique of direct sculpting and cold processing of glass at a two-week training course at The Glass Furnace, in Istanbul, Turkey. This course involves shaping, grinding and polishing solid blocks of glass with the use of horizontal mill wheels and vertical lathes.
Another relatively new medium that Hariprasad is considering is plastic. Plastic is abundantly available in various forms and its strength and weightlessness make it easier to manipulate for artistic expression. Hariprasad will use simple equipment like industrial heat guns and vacuum or thermo forming equipment to work with plastic.
The resistance of particular mediums to his creative expression has prompted Hariprasad’s foray into what he calls ‘combination mediums’. He will use the Art CAM Pro- 8 software to design and model, and then use Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology to finish the sculpting process. His computer-generated innovations will embrace and fuse with conventional mediums to formulate new processes for making sculptures.
Hariprasad’s themes are as varied as his mediums. There is in his work a juxtaposition of the abstract and the concrete. The serious, challenging, questioning, romantic and symbolic all form subjects of his art. His motifs draw generously from ancient and modern Indian culture and mythology, including Buddhism, Tantra, Hinduism, and also the contemporary philosophies of Jiddu Krishnamurthy and Osho.
With the modern day architectural emphasis on the optimal use of space, Hariprasad will explore coloured relief sculptures that will compete with paintings for display on walls. For this, he will draw inspiration from Indian temple architecture, where sculptures on the walls save space without compromising aesthetic beauty.
The immediate outcome of Hariprasad’s investigations will be a collection of sculptural work and a travelling exhibition in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. But the ‘intangible outcomes’, he says, will be of greater interest and benefit to art enthusiasts. Hariprasad proposes to organise interactive demonstrations of his inherited and acquired techniques and technology to widen the horizons of fellow artists and ignite creativity in younger artists.