Rain, his work comprising chilum -the traditional smoking pipe of clay associated with intoxication – strung meticulously into thin wires, succeeds in creating a poetic depiction of rain. The viewer can feel the flow of drops. The pitter-patter is tapped in a drenching fall in the remarkable use of one element to depict another. Clay for water. Diyas arranged most cleverly on wires define the sense of play in his own understanding of rain and its geometry. “Each strand is important. Each string is important,” he adds.
He catches the flow in broken geometry. He arrives, very close in his work, at the inner texture of the falling rain. It is understood and experienced best when one walks through the strings of clay chilum falling from tree branches. It is while standing between the falling wires studded with the chilum when Gupta’s fine handling of the most simple activity in nature and season, that of rain, arises distinctly. The effect is similar to what a viewer would experience when he sees an object kept between parallel mirrors. This, in particular, is more intoxicating than any intoxication associated with the chilum itself.
-Excerpt: ‘Down To Arth: How Manav Gupta Uses Meaningful Artwork In Terracotta To Bring Clay Back To Nature’ | Swarajya | Sep 9, 2018 | Sumati Maheshwari