Ghar Aana: Coming home exhibits pieces from the development of work made during a residency at Devrai Art Village in Panchgani, India. Time spent there focused on Dhokra: one of the earliest known techniques of lost-wax metal casting.
The Dhokra process looks at dynamics of village life and collective making. The development of this work relies on the involvement of others to create what I see as a successful outcome. Traditionally Dhokra artists work in a community where making is naturally collaborative: a communal effort rather than a solo journey. Hand skills are passed down through families and the village adopts Dhokra as a lifestyle. Although each artist has creative control over their work, others will take on roles of casting, making moulds, tools or producing smaller components.
Each of these Village Vessels undergoes a sequence of steps that requires patience and care. Each is the work of many people and therefore embodies their stories also. The vessels are sculpted by me, cast by a local bronze artist and developed in collaboration with JamFactory’s glass studio practitioners. The resulting finished vessel is an analogy to my heritage. In the creation of this work, it reveals ways to understand myself and my place.
I would like to acknowledge the contribution of the following people:
Tom Reeves who cast all the objects with great care and skill; Noah Hartley, lead glass artist; Tala Kaalim, Bart Renmeester, Alexandra Hirst and Alex Valero who assisted in refining and finishing the glass components; Kristel Britcher for supporting the collaboration with JamFactory’s glass studio; My brother Jamal Twycross-Smith who continues to tell my story through video and imagery; and Christian Hall for ongoing support and guidance.
Big thank you to Devrai Art Village and all the artists there for sharing their knowledge.