An exhibition of stained glass

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An exhibition of stained glass

Postby babak » Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:31 pm

Source: Calcutta Telegraph, India

An artist celebrates lights and colours - An exhibition of stained glass


The warm radiance of backlit panels large and small, and an array of tiffany lamps has suffused Gallery Katayun with their lambent glow. The tiny room looks like it has been decked out for a festival of lights, quite an unusual look for a gallery really.

The second feature for which this show, that opened on Wednesday evening, stands out is that all the stained glass pieces were executed by the owner of the gallery herself. They were all created by Katayun Saklat, who is one of the few stained glass artists in our country.

Stained glass is a neglected medium because it is expensive. Old buildings still have a wealth of stained glass but they will go the way of the Metropolitan building atrium that crashed some years ago.

Saklat, whose alma mater is the Government College of Art and Craft, was later trained in the UK by a major stained glass artist named Patrick Reyntiens. In Calcutta, she has a workshop of her own where she herself has groomed a group of workers and students. Some of her students are hearing and speech impaired.

She has been commissioned to create huge pieces in the past, and her panels grace the Zoroastrian fire temple in Bow Street. Some of the coloured glass she uses in her panels and lamps is imported which gives them that warm, gem-like glow.

While Saklat’s lamps are decorative pieces meant to smarten up homes, the panels are a different matter. The ones displayed here are mostly inspired by religion. In fact, her stained glass works now being exhibited can be read as an attempt to bring diverse religions together.

Her largest piece depicts the dancing Ganesha with his mouse underfoot. The dominant works are based on the life of Buddha. She depicts him as a skeletal form deep in meditation based on the famous ancient piece of sculpture. Next to that is Buddha after he attained nirvana, drawing himself to his full height, majestic yet benign.

In another piece, Guru Nanak is depicted with a disciple who plays a musical instrument. She depicts the initiation ceremony of Navjot for Zoroastrians. Most beautiful is the figure of Farohar, a winged being who represents our conscience, and the menorah, the Jewish candelabrum. The detailing of all these pieces is remarkable, and she has a flair for figurative pieces.

Saklat has some lovely decorative panels on display, the type showing peacocks and the full moon, and huge dazzling carp with tails fanning out like trains. Her smart garden lamps would liven up the smallest of green patches.

The artist has tried her hand at humour too. Pinocchio is here with his elongated nose which feathered friends use as a perch. There is a charming piece depicting Eskimos.

It is a pity that the gallery does not have the space to exhibit her really large pieces. Contemporary stained glass is so rarely seen it deserves to be exhibited in its full glory.

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Foto of Katayun Saklat

Postby canadian » Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:34 pm


Katayun Saklat (left) in front of her stained glass works with composer V Balsara at Academy of Fine Arts in Calcutta on Monday.
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