Monday, January 28, 2019

Sydney Scherr

Mohan’s Chariot: A Journey into Divine Creativity

I want to thank the Presentation Committee for selecting “Mohan’s Chariot: A Journey into Divine Creativity” for this years Yuma Symposium. It is an honor to introduce your audience to the extraordinary history, and experience, of the chariot maker. 

In the Hindu religion chariots are used as traveling temples, called temple cars, that are used to bring temple festivals and prayer to the community when the community members are unable to find their way to the temple. Chariots are made with a sense of reverence and devotion that is breathtaking to see and feel: it is considered a blessing to work on a chariot and I now know this is true.

I was invited to join a team of silversmiths from Tamil Nadu, India, to participate in the creation of a chariot for Sri Ganesar Alayam, a Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am the only women in the world to have been given this honor as this is a specifically male creation made by those who have learned this ancient art at the feet of their fathers and grandfathers.

In addition to being a chariot maker, I documented the process of creating this splendid moving temple that is 22 feet tall, weighs over 1 ton of silver and is comprised of many thousands of chased and repoussed silver panels, 7000 hand made silver nails and 102 large enamels. It is the only chariot in the world adorned with enamels, and these were my contribution to this remarkable rolling temple. To witness and participate in this creation, and the lively environment where it was made, is to enjoy the embrace of a community of metalsmiths so rich in similarities yet distinctly culturally unique. This journey is not only in recognition of the historical and spiritual depth found in Mohan’s studios, this journey describes a familiar thread that engages all creative individuals. It is the intuitive connection to work and working that compels us as artists

Sydney Scherr will present at Yuma Art Symposium 2019

See more about Sydney's work HERE

See more about Yuma Art Symposium HERE

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