On view Nov 24th - Dec 24th
A R I K A M E D U
curated by Monica Jain
@Art Centrix Space
Jain Farm, Behind Sector D-2, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
RSVP : +91 98110 40289 , +91 98115 50289
Hidden in plain sight but well marked on google maps, Arikamedu is just 7 kms off the main city of Puducherry along the river Ariyankuppam at the point where the river joins the Bay of Bengal. No one I met had heard about it, so I decided to work on this as a continuous project that would question the lack of continuity in cultural patronage in India, the importance of rivers in the light of a flourishing economy due to ancient trade and the current state of extreme pollution of our water bodies.
The concept of this show was shared with artists a year ago and the works thus attempt to reconstruct somewhat, the imagery of an energetic ancient settlement booming with maritime trade, the exchange of goods, the clank of the Roman sisterces and marisippia, and the movement of traders, settlers and travellers from across the Mediterranean and the middle east.
Exceptional ancient objects have surfaced in archaeological excavations over decades - an engraved emblem of Emperor Augustus, an ivory handle, terracotta figurines, terra sigillata cups and plates, exquisite roulettedware that was made in Arikamedu but fashioned around the typically Roman style, wine amphorae, blue glazed faience, Roman clay lamps and Mediterranean clay objects, shell beads, gems, gold, terracotta, bits of semi-precious stones, red fragment of a Roman lamp shade and pieces of Roman glass bowls. In fact, it is said the Romans decried the loss of silver on Indian imports that were in great demand in those times!