Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My other Bread and Butter - Susan Dayal

Susie Dayal - Am I an Artist or am I an Artisan?
At the Horizons Gallery in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the wire sculptor, Susan Dayal has her work on show. The gallery has made an adjustment for this exhibition as parts of the space are barred off. The wall partitions are painted in white, and Ms. Dayal's masks and busts surround the room under lighting which has been carefully orchestrated. The art community has come out to support Ms. Dayal's efforts fully, there is hardly any breathing space.

This has been a two year journey, Ms. Dayal says as she explains the process, and the theme which emerged from a strand of wire and developed into a cage of sorts. Each corset is constructed by measurements taken from her body, and the ribs are mashed to form a figure adorned with flowers and leaves. Anthuriums are her choice, aluminum, galvanize and copper are her materials.

Titled, Third Eye Flowering, the exhibition also shows a series of lotus flowers worked in copper. Parts of the copper are beaten to add an aesthetic to it, and the artist uses a spiral markings to fan out the membrane of the shape. From its core, facets and tubing are interweave to decorate each part. The show includes fourteen facial masks which take on the look of a Jester, and three large body corsets that combine an element of the traditional Fancy Sailor, a carnival character to Trinidad and Tobago. But this is by coincidence as the work just developed into those familiar forms.

For many years Susan Dayal has debated over the difference between art and craft. It is her craft that brings in her earnings. Nevertheless, both practices take the same amount of energy. Yet they can vary in detail, complexity and price. The question here is what determines it? This is the journey to which she must decide. Am I an Artist or am I an Artisan? The work at the show could be considered as decorative craft Art, but the large cage corsets seem to have an independent strength, a kind of offering of the shell of oneself to another.

There has been some discussion regarding the direction or stagnation that Ms. Dayal finds herself. The body torso has become her signature since it was produced in 1998 at the Lips, Sticks and Marks exhibition. Then, it had an edge to it. One recalls, the cage's labia was formed as jagged sheets of metal. She also had applied performance with her early dress piece using a crinoline shaped structure as a body suit. But after a decade, she is stuck with the same idea and seems unable to connect the dots which can produce work beyond the decorative element. Work more daring, more flexible, more polished or statuettes in nature.

Definition: Craft - Loose and generally crude in its construction. Art - Clean and seamless in its form and construction.

Third Eye Flowering
Susan Dayal At Horizons Gallery, Trinidad, West Indies continues till the 27th October, 2007

No comments:


Views expressed on thebookmann are not affiliated with any Art Organizations and an “Art Review” may be open to interpretation as it is an observation at face value.

Amendments to such articles if misleading or with grammatical errors shall be corrected accordingly.

All photographs, Feinin studies, accompanying quotes, articles and visual headers appearing on site are the exclusive property of Richard Bolai © 2004 - 2010 All Rights Reserved.

Any fare use is restricted without written permission