Using the gods as form and glass as a medium, artist Uma Singh tries to go deep into the illusory optics and refractive qualities of light, mainly through sculptural forms that draw energy from ancient Indian temple art and folk traditions. Depicting the dynamic grace of Durga, the rhythm of the lines in Nataraj and the simplified geometry of Ganesha image in a contemporary language define the works of this Kolkata- based sculptor. While she encountered the sculpture tradition in Konark and the temples of Bhubaneswar as a girl, her association with glass deepened while growing up in Kolkata, gazing at stained glass in her school church and in many stately mansions. “My fascination with coloured glass had actually stated with a toy— a kaleidoscope— and turned into a serious pursuit after getting exposed to stained glass in Europe during my travels abroad,” explains Singh. Having worked in this field for over 20 years now, she has recently been busy in creating one- of- a- kind artistic forms in glass, combined often with other materials such as metal, stone, wood and fibre glass. Working with both kiln- formed and cold- carving techniques, she diligently tries to give shape to her idea, while trying to optimise the optical properties and ethereal qualities of glass.
Highligting the transparency of glass, images of gods— Durga ( below), Ganesha ( left) and Krishna ( top above)— find a beautiful expression