For the fourth International Exchange between BCB and Indian Ceramics Triennale (ICT), Copper Sounds visited India. There they took part in an artist residency and explored the links between their sonic ceramics and the ghatam, a traditional Indian clay instrument. They are presenting their sonic installation Sequenced Ceramics at ICT 2024, Common Ground, their first international exhibition. This installation was also exhibited as part of Award at the 2023 Biennial.
Copper Sounds is an artist duo using traditional and contemporary ceramic processes to explore the physical and visual nature of sound. Like clay, they see sound as a malleable material, and manipulate it through designing, making and performing with unique sonic objects. Their process is about experimentation and the unknown, always thinking directly about how sound and object affect one another. The objects they make tell the story of their process and act as markers of their journey through sound.
They will be presenting their sonic installation ‘Sequenced Ceramics’ at Common Ground 2024, the second edition of the Indian Ceramics Triennale, their first international exhibition, which will take place at Arthshila, New Delhi, from 19 January to 31 March 2024. This installation was shown at BCB’s headline exhibition Award in 2023. It involves a series of large-scale ceramics played by a custom-made sequencer and mechanical beaters, resulting in hypnotic sonic patterns. They will activate the sculptural installation during the opening night with a live performance. The piece will then play by itself for the remainder of the Triennale. They use custom-built, pre-programmed equipment to generate an ever-changing composition of resonating sounds.
Whilst in India, Copper Sounds will connect with the heritage of Indian sculptural clay instruments. The residency takes place at Art Ichol Centre in Maihar, a location famous for its history in classical Indian music. They will take part in a ten-day artist-led residency with three leading experts, Ramesh Kesavan, Hariharan Kanagumeyyappan and Sumana Chandrashekar, to learn traditional Indian ceramic fabrication and percussion techniques. Ramesh is the only ghatam maker in India who has maintained the Manamadurai ghatam making tradition. Hariharan is Ramesh’s nephew who will inherit the art form and continue the family tradition. Sumana studies the cultural history of the ghatam in Carnatic music and is a student of ghatam virtuoso Sukanya Ramgopal.
The International Exchange programme is an exchange of culture, artistic practice and knowledge between artists working in clay in the UK and India. It is a partnership between British Ceramics Biennial and the Indian Ceramics Triennale, beginning in 2017. With shared objectives in expanding innovative and international ceramics practice, BCB and ICT have become catalysts for sector developments, successfully facilitating three international artist exchanges to date.
ICT24 will take place at Arthshila, New Delhi, from 19 January to 31 March 2024.