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Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran: Idols of Mud and Water

Idols of Mud and Water is the first institutional solo exhibition in the UK and Europe for the Sydney-based artist, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran.

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran: Idols of Mud and Water

About Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran: Idols of Mud and Water

Listed Under Exhibitions Events

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran was born in Colombo, Sri-Lanka in 1988 and has lived in Australia since 1989. Drawing from historical figuration as well as contemporary influences, he crafts exuberant ceramic sculptures inspired by global histories of figuration, religious iconographies, and contemporary culture.

Nithiyendran’s colourful, hybrid, human-animal sculptures echo the multifarious and coexistent belief systems that reflect the artist’s own ancestry, inspired by religious iconographies and mythological narratives across South Asia.

In Idols of Mud and Water, the artist dramatically populates Tramway's T2 gallery with a melange of multi-limbed, fertility, guardian, protector, joker and warrior figures, juxtaposing soft, tactile and organic red clay with ‘contemporary raw materials'.

The figures are housed amongst a seemingly improvised, makeshift architectural ‘temple’ structure made from a range of repurposed materials including bamboo, scaffolding, metal sheeting and recycled timber. They are connected by a narrative of mud and water: As mist hangs in the air, evoking the feeling that visitors are entering a flooded ruin or a space of dreams and divinations, a fountain dramatically pumps muddy water.

Subverting museum display systems, Ramesh’s sculptures stand atop crude plinths, enhanced by LED Lighting, bursts of mist and kinetic elements. Tramway becomes, in the artist’s words, a ‘buzzing mythological playground’ in which queer politics, anthropomorphism, zoology, monumentality and popular culture combine to create new, speculative mythologies.

Funded by Australia Council for the Arts and Creative Scotland

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