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Title

Avatar Towers

2020

Artist

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran

Sri Lanka, Australia

1988 –

Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
Alternate image of Avatar Towers by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran
  • Details

    Date
    2020
    Media category
    Sculpture
    Materials used
    earthenware, 24k gold plated bronze, bronze, acrylic, porcelain, beads, synthetic hair, digitally printed textile, hessian, polyester, custom necklaces, epoxy, crystals, automotive paint
    Dimensions
    display dimensions variable :

    1 - Three legged avatar with two sided face, 118 x 43 x 42 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze and epoxy

    2 - Three legged figure with triple head, 103 x 43 x 40 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze and epoxy

    3 - Turquoise figure, 92 x 42 x 32 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze and epoxy

    4 - Two sided figure with purple crown, 121 x 40 x 37 cm, 2020, earthenware

    5 - White figure with gold face I, 70 x 33 x 26 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze

    6 - Yellow dog with brown figure, 36 x 22 x 25 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze and lustre

    7 - Yellow head with spiky headpiece, 130 x 55 x 55 cm, 2019, earthenware, glaze, lustre and bronze

    8 - Bird human fertility figure II, 109 x 40 x 35 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze, porcelain and epoxy

    9 - Blue bronze figure with branch headpiece, 157 x 106 x 30 cm, 2019, bronze

    10 - Brown figure with snake, 64 x 42 x 24 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze and lustre

    11 - Caramel standing figure with plait, 163 x 90 x 50 cm, 2019, earthenware, glaze, synthetic hair, optic fibre, digitally printed textile, hessian and polyester

    12 - Double headed figure with red crown, 1080 x 400 x 540 cm, 2020, earthenware

    13 - Double sided monkey face, 73 x 54 x 25 cm, 2020, earthenware

    14 - Figure with snake headpiece, 128 x 50 x 52 cm, 2019, earthenware, porcelain and wooden beads

    15 - Figure with tiger face, 62.5 x 29 x 18 cm, 2018, bronze

    16 - Grinning face I, 72 x 50 x 20 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze

    17 - Grinning face II, 75 x 47 x 20 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze and epoxy

    18 - Hog human with horn, 101 x 43 x 25 cm, 2020, earthenware, glaze, crystals and epoxy

    19 - Pink fertility figure, 66 x 45 x 48 cm, 2020, earthenware

    20 - Pink terracotta figure, 27 x 17 x 13 cm, 2020, terracotta and pink auto paint

    21 - Pointy gold head, 63 x 61 x 26 cm, 2017, 24k gold plated bronze

    22 - Terracotta figure 1, 18 x 15.5 x 13 cm, 2020, terracotta

    23 - Terracotta figure 2, 15.5 x 13.5 x 10.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    24 - Terracotta figure 3, 14.5 x 14.5 x 11 cm, 2020, terracotta

    25 - Terracotta figure 4, 12.5 x 12 x 12 cm, 2020, terracotta

    26 - Terracotta figure 5, 16.5 x 13.5 x 9 cm, 2020, terracotta

    27 - Terracotta figure 6, 20.3 x 13 x 9 cm, 2020, terracotta

    28 - Terracotta figure 7, 22.5 x 14 x 9.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    29 - Terracotta figure 8, 21.5 x 11 x 7.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    30 - Terracotta figure 9, 21.8 x 14 x 8.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    31 - Terracotta figure 10, 25.5 x 18.5 x 16.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    32 - Terracotta figure 11, 18.3 x 12 x 8 cm, 2020, terracotta

    33 - Terracotta figure 12, 26 x 19 x 13.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    34 - Terracotta figure 13, 21 x 18.5 x 12 cm, 2020, terracotta

    35 - Terracotta figure 14, 16.5 x 22 x 8 cm, 2020, terracotta

    36 - Terracotta figure 15, 20.5 x 16.5 x 15 cm, 2020, terracotta

    37 - Terracotta figure 17, 20.3 x 20 x 12 cm, 2020, terracotta

    38 - Terracotta figure 18, 22.3 x 12 x 9 cm, 2020, terracotta

    39 - Terracotta figure 19, 26 x 14.5 x 15 cm, 2020, terracotta

    40 - Terracotta figure 20, 25 x 18.5 x 8 cm, 2020, terracotta

    41 - Terracotta figure 21, 21 x 22 x 8.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    42 - Terracotta figure 22, 22.5 x 14.5 x 13.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    43 - Terracotta figure 23, 26.5 x 16 x 11 cm, 2020, terracotta

    44 - Terracotta figure 24, 23.5 x 16 x 10 cm, 2020, terracotta

    45 - Terracotta figure 25, 22 x 19.5 x 13.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    46 - Terracotta figure 26, 30.2 x 18.5 x 13 cm, 2020, terracotta

    47 - Terracotta figure 27, 26 x 20 x 10.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    48 - Terracotta figure 28, 20 x 20 x 10.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    49 - Terracotta figure 29, 26 x 15 x 9 cm, 2020, terracotta

    50 - Terracotta figure 30, 28 x 12.5 x 12 cm, 2020, terracotta

    51 - Terracotta figure 31, 30.8 x 15 x 13.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    52 - Terracotta figure 32, 24.5 x 17 x 11.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    53 - Terracotta figure 33, 23.2 x 18.5 x 12 cm, 2020, terracotta

    54 - Terracotta figure 34, 26.8 x 14 x 15 cm, 2020, terracotta

    55 - Terracotta figure 35, 33 x 19 x 13.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    56 - Terracotta figure 37, 27.5 x 21 x 15 cm, 2020, terracotta

    57 - Terracotta figure 38, 29 x 17 x 16 cm, 2020, terracotta

    58 - Terracotta figure 39, 31 x 27 x 11.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    59 - Terracotta figure 40, 30.5 x 19.5 x 16.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    60 - Terracotta figure 41, 32 x 22 x 10.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    61 - Terracotta figure 42, 28.5 x 20.5 x 17 cm, 2020, terracotta

    62 - Terracotta figure 43, 36 x 20.5 x 15.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    63 - Terracotta figure 44, 41 x 19 x 20 cm, 2020, terracotta

    64 - Terracotta figure 45, 21.5 x 10.5 x 8.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    65 - Terracotta figure 46, 26 x 22.5 x 14.5 cm, 2020, terracotta

    66 - Terracotta figure 47, 36 x 20 x 15 cm, 2020, earthenware

    67 - Terracotta figure 48, 35 x 17 x 13 cm, 2020, earthenware

    68 - Sentient mound, 2020, Blackwattle buff terracotta paper clay

    Credit
    Purchased with funds provided by the Mollie Douglas Bequest with the support of Bella and Tim Church 2021
    Location
    Ainsworth Family Gallery
    Accession number
    64.2021.1-68
    Copyright
    © Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran

    Works in the collection

    3

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  • About

    In 2019 visitors to the Art Gallery of New South Wales were greeted by a raw wooden structure rising more than five metres which was home to dozens of exuberantly grinning and grimacing ceramic and bronze beings. Titled ‘Avatar Towers’, this structure and its denizens are the work of Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, a Sri Lankan-born Sydney sculptor, ceramicist and painter. A raucous and celebratory installation that showcases Nithiyendran's maximalist aesthetic, it was created especially for the Gallery’s ‘Archie Plus’ project, to welcome visitors back to the Gallery following the COVID-19 shutdown in mid-2020.

    Fascinated by syncretism and the strange and surprising visual forms it generates, Nithiyendran drew inspiration for ‘Avatar Towers’ from the Gallery’s own collection of south and southeast Asian historical sculptures.He has also mentioned the impact on him, as a child, of richly embellished Hindu temple interiors. An ‘avatar’ in Hinduism is a worldly and material incarnation of a deity. But here, as in earlier sculptures, Nithiyendran presses playfully at the meanings of the word, hinting, through the presence of his own features in some of the sculptures, that the works are avatars of their maker -- projections of Nithiyendran’s own spirit and energy into the glazed and bedazzled ‘mud’ that is his favoured medium.

    The word ‘towers’ in ‘Avatar Towers’ is important in this respect. While it alludes partly to sacred architectural structures, it also suggests an apartment block, a low-rise dwelling, a place where people live together. Though Nithiyendran does not see his art as overtly polemical, ‘Avatar Towers’ does contain, in a year of marked social divisions, a suggestion about togetherness – proposing that the best and most vital communities are those that prize energy over purity. This joyful noise is not without its ominous undernotes, however. Nithiyendran has noted how the manic smiles of his figures can seem to disguise anxiety and uncertainty.

Other works by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran