Artist Ankit Patel, who has been creating sculptures for 40 years now, talks all things arty
How did you begin as a sculptor?
I always wanted to do sculptures. I was always interested in 3D in open space i.e. outdoor sculptures. I had my first exhibition took place in 1981. It showcased my wooden kinetic sculptures.
What do your current works from the show, ‘Familiar Sounds... Lasting Silence’ reflect? Or rather what do you want the viewer to make of them?
My current works titled ‘Familiar Sounds... Lasting Silence’ is all about the sounds from day-to-day life tools, objects, which are now on silent mode. The harmonium playing its sur sangam. The typewriter going tuck,tuck, tuck, tick, tick, tick,ting. Bells jingling while sugarcane is crushed to sweet juice, butter being churned by bangled hands, the clicketty clack of a sewing machine, cotton being fluffed in rhythm, the routine ringing of a school bell... sounds of everyday life, which I had left behind in my village, 32 years ago. A life that revolved around tunes and beats that defined for me a sense of lilting music. Life itself was following a tune, which came from familiar, functional sounds. Sounds which people wouldn’t really give a second thought to, but I have drawn inspiration to work on creating a whole series of sculptures by fusing mechanics and music. Each sculpture has an element of lyricism, the reality of the machine taking over human existence and yet there is a triumph of the spirit to see all that is beautiful from within the world he seems to have lost to the past. Keeping it alive seems to be my major concern.
How significant are colours in your works?
Colours play an important role in my sculptures. Though most of the sculptures in bronze look same in their colour and texture, but there is always a difference which is intended. I like the rustiness and roughness in the colours of my sculptures.
Is this your first solo show in Mumbai?
It’s my 20th solo show in Mumbai.
Who are your favourite artists?
Constantin Brancusi (for his birds and pedastels), Henry Moore (for semi-abstract monumental bronze, abstractions of the human figure), and Alexander Calder (for his kinetic( mobile) sculptures).