From the mysteriously untainted ‘iron pillar’ in Delhi’s Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, to the slowly gyrating bronze Shiva in the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai – a small collection of precious metal:
Standing within the courtyard ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, in Delhi, the mysterious Iron Pillar probably speaks of the glory and munificence of Chandragupta II (380-414 CE), but what fascinates visitors these days is the mystery of its almost untarnished surface, unsullied until the backs, arms and grasping hands of a myriad visitors began to visibly diminish the inscriptions – and hence, these days the column stands inside a protective metal fence.
Over in Lanka, some more contemporary metal was wrought into a huntress by Laki Senanayake
An artist and sculptor, garden creator, musician, and architect, Laki Senanayake was a frequent artistic collaborator of Geoffrey Bawa. This dramatic owl dominates the central stairwell at Bawa’s masterpiece Kandalama, near Dambulla. Their final collaboration resulted in the glorious extravaganzaa “The Portuguese Arriving in Ceylon Under a Cloud”, around the upper reaches of the spiral staircase of the Lighthouse Hotel, Galle.
Laki Senanayake’s giant, swooping owl, suspended over the central stairwell at Kandalama, is a ferocious and primeval hunter, rendered with great tactile appeal in iron.
Lastly, two views of my favourite piece of metal
The over-loved bronze statue of Shiva has since been restored and now dances inside a glass box in the temple museum (which, from photographs I’ve seen, luckily can’t diminish its grace and sinuous movement).
Scanned from an old print from a visit in the 90s, unfortunately – but I don’t think that diminishes the beauty of this extraordinary piece of metal.
I really like the owl. The structure and lines simply, powerfully evoke its inspiration.
I particularly love the Senanayake …
I’m with you, Shiva is magnificent, so graceful and fluid.
The owl is wonderfully done.
xxx Huge Hugs xxx
such variety, thanks for reminding us metal can do all that …here we have been looking at ancient coins and jewelery … metal is long lasting isn’t it?
Very sexy, the Goddess/dancer statue 🙂
There is some brilliant work there… magnificent artistry…
Both these pieces are amazing. I believe the … I just spent 20 minutes trying to find the word I am trying to use and its spelling. Apparently there is no such word. Perhaps you can help me out. The word I was going to use is “patique”. To me this was the effect that aging has on an item, usually metal. A copper may start have shades of green over time and other metals may show rust (orange). I thought is was caused by oxygenation and exposure to the elements however I will be darned if I can’t find the word.
Anyway, these are beautiful.
Oh darling, I know the feeling – without blissful silence or the wild flight of verbosity when those words elude, there’s nothing more frustrating, even misplacing your glasses! Have you conflated French and English, here? Patina, patinaed, patinate, patination – patique. 🙂 I understood perfectly and so glad you enjoyed the rusty patination!
Aren’t you clever?! You knew exactly what I was trying to say. One of these days I will get all my words back and they will be in the right spots. 😉
Of course you will 🙂
Exquisite bronze Shiva. Did you know fingernails are one of the tests for good workmanship and authenticity? Look at those fingernails!!
I didn’t know, specifically, Madhu, but thank you for that because fingernails, and feet, always seem to be the yardsticks I use to gague workmanship, and thence authenticity. This Shiva was created by someone really special. As I said, probably my favourite piece of metal (sculpture). 🙂