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Freedom of expression leads to good artwork: Pandurangiah Daroz
Growth of Gurgaon can't only be seen economically and in emergence of MNCs and high rise buildings, but it also can be seen in increasing art and culture, which has brought to the fore many talented artists. Pandurangiah Daroz is one of the talented sculptors in the city who from last forty years has provided finely crafted, conceptually sound and technically masterful works of clay art to the country. In a lively chat with citizen journalist Rajat Bhatia, Mr Daroz spoke about the concept of art and its execution. Excerpts.

BORN IN a family of goldsmiths on May 5, 1944 in Jillela, a small village about 80 kms. from Hyderabad, Mr Daroz pursued five-year course included Drawing and Painting in Fine Arts as well as Applied Art and Design in 1961 from Hyderabad School of Art. Later on, he studied textile design, metal embossing work and leather craft.

CJ: What role does 'material' play in your architectural concept and execution?

Mr. Daroz: Terracotta is like the human skin to civilization. It contains and defines the very sap that characterizes the civilization. While studying arts in MS university, Vadodara in 1972, I got an opportunity to assist my Professor K.G. Subramanian to make the Bangladesh Terracotta Mural Series with slabs. This is when I realized that one can be inspired by traditions and combine it with contemporary concepts like combining ancient and time-tested technique of pot making with modern sensibilities.

CJ: Creative architecture in public spaces can give cities and localities a definitive aesthetic appeal. Can Indian cities use more of this appeal?

Mr. Daroz: Fortunately we have a rich tradition of creative architecture in public spaces. The terracotta temples of Bengal is the biggest example, a great inspiration; they appeared to me as glorified containers, with demarcated areas of specific acts. If the monuments of Mandu were absorbed in space, these terracotta temples created and appropriated their own ambience. They have the strength of giving an integrated statement of their surroundings of social, economical or political structures. We have to be proud of our legacy and realize it as our departure point in creating the modern architectural works of art in public spaces by means of fusion through our contemporary sensibilities.

One can see a tremendous competition in today’s upcoming building projects; the architects are daringly trying diverse designs and materials as a mode of their expression. I am certainly optimistic about the realization of understanding the importance creative architecture in public spaces.

CJ: Architecture-wise, do you think India has come to have a 'commissioning culture'? Or do we still lack architecture consciousness?

Mr. Daroz: From the beginning of my career I was offered various large scale commissions, so the culture of commissioning was always there. Architectural space is challenging, both in function and in structure, if carried sensitively we can celebrate them.

CJ: Which is your favourite way of expression?

Mr. Daroz: Primarily my medium of expression is ceramic; I enjoy the medium in all its aspects by creating pottery, sculptures, jwellery or murals.

CJ: How do you balance between personal perception and collective experience in public art as well as in your personal work?

Mr. Daroz: In this collaborative project, an architect delivers the space to the artist only till the extent of allotting area and size. Without any forced theme specification, an artist is free to conceptualize. This freedom of expression often results in good work of art. As for me I enjoy on a big scale and visualize my works in big space.

CJ: Art does not pay. Do you think this sentiment and reality is still prevalent today?

Mr. Daroz: It is a taboo, genuine art pays.

CJ: In global art which artists have inspired you the most?

Mr. Daroz: I have great respect for MF Hussain

CJ: What do you do when you run out of ideas while working on a project?

Mr. Daroz: I go in hibernation.

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